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Seattle had an April in Christmas moment yesterday when a April Fool's Day joke abut In-N-Out opening a Seattle location resurfaced on Twitter.

The "Christmas

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Putting In-N-Out Rumors to Permanent Rest

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Seattle had an April in Christmas moment yesterday when a April Fool's Day joke abut In-N-Out opening a Seattle location resurfaced on Twitter.

The "Christmas miracle" announcement was retweeted by King 5's managing editor Russ Walker, who valiantly tried to get more information from rumor originator @billcox, a senior communications director at Microsoft. "What's the news on In-N-Out Burger?," Walker asked by tweet.

Since I've survived an In-N-Out expansion - the beloved burger chain opened in Dallas a few weeks after I left there - I feel compelled to provide a handy, failsafe tool for evaluating In-N-Out rumors. Since In-N-Out stresses freshness, it conforms to a policy of never building a restaurant further than 500 miles from a distribution center (The outlier is a Utah location, sited 685 miles from the chain's southern California meat-processing plant.)

In order to open eight locations in Texas, In-N-Out leased a 60,000-square foot distribution center. The new distribution center allows In-N-Out to open locations in states including Illinois, Kansas and Florida, but not Washington. Seattle is 1152 miles from the closest distribution center.

So until there's a new distribution center, there won't be any new restaurants in this corner of the country. But really, the sleuthing trick isn't necessary: In-N-Out readily confirms it has no imminent plans to expand to the Pacific Northwest.

"We should get there some day, just not in the near-term future," says Carl Van Fleet, vice president for planning and development.

Unfounded rumors of impending In-N-Out openings pop up across the country with some regularity, a phenomenon that mystifies Van Fleet.

"I'm sorry, but I don't know the source of that," Van Fleet says. "We do consider the speculation a great compliment and are truly appreciative and grateful for the interest."

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