For two hours, Scott Wallach, 20, of Santa Rosa and his friend Will Brown, 21, of Santa Rosa, patiently waited to be In-N0Out store 249’s first customers.

They would have waited longer, they said, having arrived the night before with blankets and chairs — willing to spend the night outside the doors. Unfortunately, restaurant management, who were hosting friends and family at the store last night wouldn’t let them stay on the property overnight.

Undaunted, the two friends came back at 7am to wait in stadium chairs. The effort paid off at 9am when the students were ceremoniously ushered in as the store’s first official customers. “I love this place more than the world,” said Nick.

Their order? What else. A Double Double. This classic combination of two hamburger patties, cheese, toasted buns and freshly made fries is what’s helped but In-N-Out on the map.

Like much of Santa Rosa — at least the burger-eaters among us — Wallach and Brown have been eagerly anticipating the Santa Rosa opening for months. The nearly 250-restaurant chain has locations in Rohnert Park and Petaluma, and a cult following throughout California. Best known for its dead-simple offerings (along with its lesser-known secret menu) and fresh-made fries, the restaurant was ranked among the nation’s best hamburgers by Consumer Reports.

Located just off Steele Lane near Hwy 101, there have been concerns about the notoriously busy restaurant causing traffic disruptions at the busy intersection. Opposition also lamented the potential for greenhouse gas emissions from idling drive-up cars and obesity concerns for children.

Nick and Scott with their Number 1

That didn’t seem to phase Nick Schulz of Santa Rosa, who was first in the drive-through line this morning. Nick said he was a regular at the Rohnert Park location and came early to get the prime first spot (he got a t-shirt for his efforts).

“I’ve been going for years, and I can tell you this is the best hamburger under $5 in the world.”

Staffers say more than 3,000 people applied for jobs at the Santa Rosa burgery, 1500 were interviewed and just 42 made the final cut.

The restaurant will be open Sunday – Thursday 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 a.m’ Friday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.  and Saturday 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 a.m.

In N Out, 2131 County Center Drive, Santa Rosa

BTW: Six lucky BiteClubbers got a VIP pass to the restaurant at 9am this morning after guessing the opening date correctly. Congrats to Rob, Cheryl, Noemi, Joni, and BC pals Shana Ray and Christopher Hanson. Woop!