After staying in place on Del Obispo Street since 1980, the Marie Callender’s location in San Juan Capistrano is no more.
The building was recently demolished, and a new In-N-Out Burger location will replace it. The area is currently fenced off, with only rubble remaining on the grounds.
Property landlord Andrew Stroscher said Marie Callender’s vacated the premises in summer 2022. Though Stroscher wanted to facilitate a new Marie Callender’s location within the vicinity, possibly near the new Target, he said the company told him they would not continue operating in San Juan since the Del Obispo location did not generate enough business.
“The homeless have really descended on that building and damaged it,” Stroscher said.
In-N-Out is still on track to set up shop at the location on 31791 Del Obispo Street and is in the “initial stages of construction,” said Mike Abbate, the company’s vice president of real estate and development.
“Once we break ground on a new location, it usually takes us 8-9 months to build a restaurant and open it for business,” Abbate said. “Because of the amount of construction that still needs to take place, it isn’t yet possible to nail down a precise opening date.”
In-N-Out looks forward to serving customers at the San Juan location, Abbate said.
The San Juan Capistrano City Council rendered a conditional approval for In-N-Out to open at the location in February 2022. The decision elicited backlash from some residents due to concerns about expected traffic ramifications.
As for the history of the building, Stroscher said the building is so old that the lease was signed by Marie Callender’s founder, Don Callender, who died in 2009 at the age of 81.
Stroscher recalled the parking lot being full when he was a kid, a far cry from recent times, when the business has not been as busy.
“That was the gut-wrenching part,” he said. “It was a gorgeous building.”
Stroscher also recalled the old building had a private dining room put in at his grandmother’s request where his family—who owns much of the property along that Del Obispo corridor—held business meetings in the 1980s.
“I totally get why everyone’s upset to see it go down,” he said. “It serves a purpose from another time, when we had much larger family restaurants.”
As for In-N-Out, Stroscher said he is “excited” for that to open in the future.