Coffee and doughnut lovers rejoice: Dunkin’ Donuts opened its first store in Southern California on Tuesday, marking the popular restaurant chain’s return to the state.
Fans lined up overnight in anticipation of the Santa Monica location’s 5 a.m. grand opening.
The early morning events included a ribbon cutting ceremony, a pink carpet featuring the brand’s mascots and surprise giveaways, according to a news release from the company.
A special commemorative California-inspired doughnut to celebrate the opening was also available for purchase.
The first 100 people in line received a tote bag filled with special items from the chain, while the first person in line got a year’s worth of its famed coffee for free, the release stated.
A man who was the first to line up told KTLA he had been waiting outside the store since 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
“I’m originally from Connecticut, so I love Dunkin’ Donuts and I’m glad it’s in California now,” he said.
Dunkin’ Donuts previously operated about a dozen stores in California, but they were all shuttered by the late 1990s, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“We’ve been asked to bring Dunkin’ Donuts back to Los Angeles for many years and we’re proud to announce that the first full expression restaurant is opening in Santa Monica ahead of schedule,” said Paul Twohig, President of Dunkin’ Donuts in the U.S. and Canada. “We’re certain Dunkin’ Donuts will quickly become an integral part of Angelenos’ daily routine.”
Five stores are expected to open in the state by the end of the year, with 200 more expected in the next few years, according to the Times.