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Lines Feb. 10 along 136th Ave. to get into Thornton’s new In-N-Out Burger were mercifully short, but experienced fans of the California-based fast-food chain said that wouldn’t last for long.

“I’m surprised it’s not busier right now, but I know it’s going to pick up by the weekend,” said Westminster’s Draco Alexander said. “I think most people haven’t realized it’s open, but it’s going to be crazy once they do.”

The chain opened its fourth Denver-Metro location quietly Feb. 9 at 136th and Lincoln in Thornton, bringing in several top employees from stores around the West brought in to help the Thornton location get started right.

Customers and neighbors said they were braced for long lines to get into the restaurant. The city had dedicated turn lanes to get into the store on 136th Avenue, and on Lincoln and Grant streets. Thornton Police suggested people access the store coming south along Grant Street from 144th to keep lines and traffic manageable.

Alexander and Julia Laake of Westminster ate their meals in the restaurant and walked out with a handful of In-N-Out swag and stickers.

“We just like In-N-Out,” Alexander said. “We love the food and normally go to Lakewood, but it’s good to have one closer to home.”

Luis Garcia of Loveland said he was pleasantly surprised. He and Valeria Palma made the trip to Thornton especially to visit the hamburger stand. They regularly make trips down to the other locations in Aurora, Lakewood and Englewood.

“But we said if the line was longer than three hours, we’d just go down to Aurora,” Garcia said. “We love the place. But it was no problem. The line moved pretty fast.”