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In-N-Out Burger to debut Thursday on West Seventh

08/09/2011 9:12 PM

09/09/2011 10:23 AM

FORT WORTH -- In-N-Out Burger -- the California chain with a cultlike following for such items as Animal Style burgers with mustard fried into the patties -- opens its first Tarrant County restaurant at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at 2900 W. Seventh St. in Fort Worth.

But it could be earlier, spokesman Carl Van Fleet said, if anyone is around.

And hordes will likely be on the sidewalk salivating, if Dallas, Allen and Frisco openings in May were any indication.

Scores were camped outside, and a mile-long line of cars was also waiting at the drive-through. Free T-shirts were handed out to the earliest comers in May, but Van Fleet made no promises on giveaways in Fort Worth.

Commuters who use West Seventh might want to check traffic reports for the busy corridor between the Trinity River and University Drive.

The menu offerings are far from health food. The Double-Double burger, with two patties, weighs in at 670 calories and 90 percent of the daily recommended intake of saturated fat. But the calories drop to 520 when ordered on lettuce ("protein style") instead of a bun.

The online nutrition information doesn't cover popular "off-the-menu" items like the trademark Animal Style fries, which are topped with two slices of melted cheese and grilled onions.

The chain says it hasn't hired all the workers it needs. Starting wages are $10 an hour, Van Fleet said. Full-time workers get health insurance, but part-timers get free food, vacations and flexible schedules and are eligible to participate in the company's 401(k) retirement savings program, he added.

In-N-Out is expected to open in Arlington, at 1075 W. Interstate 20, by mid-September.

Barry Shlachter, 817-390-7718

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