In-N-Out Burger April Fools Prank Angers New Yorkers

Thousands of disgruntled foodies in the City that Never Sleeps have been left with watering mouths and sulken spirits after signs that went up all over NYC Thursday morning announcing In-N-Out Burgers’ long-awaited arrival in the Big Apple turned out to be a cruel April Fools’ Day joke.

The privately-owned In-N-Out Burger is one of the nation’s most popular fast food chains, despite the fact that all 250 of its outlets are located on the West Coast. The chain gained a particularly large following after it was featured prominently in hit films, such as The Big Lebowski and Swingers.

At the empty storefront recently vacated by Virgin Megastore, pranksters dressed up as In-N-Out Burger employees could be seen handing out flyers — prompting many burger-lovin’ passersby to believe that the tastiness of In-N-Out was on its way to town.

It was not to be.

Gothamist wrote: “A tipster tells Eater that ‘workers’—wearing In-N-Out caps and aprons—were outside 933 Broadway this morning, handing out fliers announcing that the stores will open on July 4th, 2010. (Burger Conquest has photos of the jokers.) Multiple conspirators? Convincing costumes? Fliers?! Who has the time for all this? Malicious, gold bricking blackguards, that’s who….”

By Thursday afternoon, In-N-Out bosses had released a statement debunking reports that the chain is NYC-bound and denying any role in the prank.

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“You may be aware of a rumor or April Fool’s Day hoax about In-N-Out Burger coming to New York City the Summer of 2010. This is not true. We are very sorry for any confusion this may have caused and have no idea how it got started. We want to make sure everyone knows that it is false. We currently operate restaurants in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah…..”

No one knows who perpetrated the elaborate hoax, but their getting a special “Up Yours” from some city residents, who reacted angrily on blog postings and social networking sites.

“Meanest prank ever. EVER,” wrote one on Gothamist commenter.

“That’s not just mean, it’s evil,” a Tweeter wrote.

Sorry New York, for White Castle will just have to do.