In-N-Out restaurant to open on Alta Arden

Map of Alta Arden Expressway
A new dead zone?


Irvine-based In-N-Out Burger plans to open an outlet at the site of the former Romano’s Macaroni Grill at 2001 Alta Arden Expressway. The plan calls for the Macaroni Grill building to be torn down and a new In-N-Out restaurant to be built on the site.

That’s great and all, I love a good burger, but I don’t get this particular location for any sort of business. How did Macaroni Grill fail, while Mimi’s Cafe is still up and running? Not to mention Chick-fil-A. It seems like every time I am in that part of town I can’t turn right, or have to make a u-turn, or risk jumping three lanes at once to get where I need to go.

So, should this area be added to our dead zone list? Or, is it just a matter of hitting a consumer price point just so?

Author: RonTopofIt

RonTopofIt is a complex personality, as are most of the small breed of modern day renaissance millionaires. He wishes more people were like him and yet believes that it takes all kinds. You've met RonTopofIt many times, you just don't remember him.

4 thoughts on “In-N-Out restaurant to open on Alta Arden”

  1. The only reason I could see for Macaroni Grill to have failed was maybe because it didn’t get much business during dinner. Lunch time it was always pretty busy the few times I went there.

    I think In-N-Out will do OK there. Traffic should be nightmarish in that area when it first opens.


  2. My wife and I ate dinner at this Macaroni many times due to meetings nearby and short time available. Not in the, “Honey, shall we we go to Macaroni Grill, Grange, or Mulvaney’s tonight” way, but it worked for us. Pretty decent food. The thing we noticed was the tons of staff. The waitperson usually had an in-training shadow. The hostess counter usually had a staff of 4-8 hanging out. So there were always about as many floor staff as diners. I never worked in a restaurant but it looked like bad management.
    They were kind of funny, too. One time I had a very nice pasta dish with orzo, the little variety that resembles rice in shape and remarked to the waiter that I thought it actually was rice and he said, “Absolutely not. There is no rice anywhere in our kitchen.” So I inquired how they made the risotto also on the menu.
    An attractive and fairly new building, I am surprised that In-N-Out would raze it. Why not figure a way to make it work for them?
    The other funny thing is that both In-N-Out and Chick-fil-A have strong religious things going on making them odd neighbors, unless they are actually the same folks.


  3. Looking forward to In-N-Out opening there… I think it will work out well for them and it’s probably closer for me than the Madison at I-80 location. Also nice to hear that The Squeeze Inn is moving into Midtown. I’d rather go there than way down Power Inn.


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