Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, at 11612 Amargosa Rd., Victorville, opens at 6 a.m. Monday, Feb. 5. The restaurant is the first in California.
Outside, the familiar rocking chairs line the porch. Dining room walls are blanketed with framed fruit labels from historic California companies including Blue Goose Pears and Red Star Apples. Vintage wagon parts and saddles also adorn walls, along with old advertisements from local companies and the ubiquitous traffic light near the restrooms.
The menu of Southern favorites – from fried apples to the famed hash brown casserole – is unchanged. And that’s what makes Cracker Barrel an anomaly in an industry pivoting to boutique eateries, food halls and farm-to-table fast-casual experiences.
Consistency and nostalgia have earned Cracker Barrel a legion of followers. In some ways, its reputation is not unlike fast food icon In-N-Out, whose scratch-made limited menu of burgers, fries and shakes is adored by fans from coast to coast.
“It’s really about family. It’s about how we make people feel,” said Thomas Pate, vice president for operations at Cracker Barrel.