These days, Cracker Barrel might be one of few things people from all across the country can agree on. And judging from the line outside the company's new store in Victorville, California, the cultural divide between regions in the United States isn't so great. Now with 649 stores in 45 states, Cracker Barrel is expanding its down-home, country cooking across the nation.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store opened its first ever California location on Feb. 5 to a huge line outside the door. According to one local television station, about 100 people were waiting before 6 a.m. for the new restaurant to open.
Keeping within the tradition of the majority of Cracker Barrel locations, the new store is located within direct sight lines of an interstate. The Victorville Cracker Barrel is near Los Angeles, just off Interstate 15, which is the main freeway between Southern California and Las Vegas.
There is, of course, the traditional Cracker Barrel decor of vintage signs and antiques. The Victorville location pays homage to its Southern California home, with shout outs to Route 66, the Gold Rush, desert life, and the film and citrus industries.
For our friends in the Golden State who haven't had the blessed opportunity to eat in Cracker Barrel before, here are a few things you should know.
- You will spend just as much time in the gift shop as in the restaurant. It's okay, we all do it. The shop has a wide variety of Southern nostalgia items, from rocking chairs to old fashioned candy.
- The chain comes by its Southern hospitality honestly. The first Cracker Barrel was opened in 1969 in Lebanon, Tennessee, and the headquarters of the chain is still located there.
- Please do sit in the rocking chairs on the front porch. And you should know that they are all made in the United States by the Hinkle Chair Company, a family business based in Tennessee.
- Order your tea sweet, your pancakes with pecans, and the hashbrown casserole on the side. Breakfast is served all day (and there's never a bad time to eat pancakes).
Victorville won't be the only California store for long. Cracker Barrel is scheduled to open several more new California restaurants, including a Sacramento location in May, followed by four other new locations over the next two years.