Dunkin’ Donuts is finally in the Bay Area after almost 40 years.
The new store in Walnut Creek officially opened up at 5 a.m. Wednesday, with enthusiastic Bay Area doughnut-lovers lining up as early as 3:30 a.m. In the first 4 hours, 5,000 doughnuts were sold.
The most popular doughnut of the day was Boston Cream, according to company spokeswoman Amy Scarlett.
Dunkin’ Norcal posted a series of photos on Twitter almost an hour after the grand opening, thanking all "#BayArea fans" for checking out the store.
The East Coast doughnut chain confirmed to NBC Bay Area in February its latest plan to expand to California. The company opened the restaurant at 1250 Newell Ave. in Walnut Creek, Michelle King with Dunkin' Brands Global Public Relations said.
"The restaurant will be owned and operated by our franchisee, Golden Gate Restaurant Group LLC," King said. "We can't wait to serve guests in the Bay Area our brand's wide range of high-quality coffees, espresso beverages, sandwiches and baked goods."
The Walnut Creek shop is not the Bay Area's first Dunkin' Donuts, King confirmed. There used to be a Dunkin' Donuts restaurant at 3605 Union Ave. in San Jose (at Camden Avenue), which originally opened in November 1973. The company did not have the date of the store's closure.
The popular chain, which describes itself as "America's all-day, everyday stop for coffee and baked goods," had a small presence in California in the late 1990s and re-entered the market again with a location in Sacramento in August 2002. The locations closed because "the time wasn’t right for the brand, and the infrastructure didn’t exist to grow and expand in the state," King said.
As of January, there are 24 Dunkin' Donuts shops in California, including stores in San Bernardino, San Diego, Riverside, Orange and Los Angeles counties.