Dick's Drive-In coming to South King

By Sarah Michelli - Staff Reporter

South King County leaders say they hope to cook up an offer Dick's Drive-In can't refuse.

 Dick's Drive-In will be building a new location in South King County by late 2018, following a public vote on where the burger chain generally should open its next store.

In the early 1950s, owner Dick Spady had an idea to start a fast food drive-in in Seattle. Dick's Drive-In was opened in 1954 and now has six locations serving classic American burgers, shakes and fries.

Up until his children convinced him to expand the business, Spady was not interested in an expansion after the 2011 opening of the Edmonds location. 

"However, my dad and my uncles convinced him that as he was the only person still with the company who had been around when we opened our last store. If he wanted to pass down that knowledge, we should probably start working on a new location," Vice President Jasmine Donovan said. 

For the 2011 expansion, Dick's Drive-In took a poll of people as to where they wanted the new location. "It went extremely well, generated a lot of excitement and motivated city governments to reach out to us with potential sites," Donovan said. 

They decided to take a poll with the runners up for the newest expansion. 

The most recent poll had 170,000 votes and the winner was the south end of King County. 

For the new site, "We want to purchase an acre of land on a busy highway or road with easy access to I-5, close to large employers, night life, high schools, and colleges," Donovan said.

City officials from both Des Moines and Kent say that description fits the area near the Highline campus. Speculation is swirling on social media that an ideal location would be the site of the Dollar Tree store on Pacific Highway South that burned last fall.

Des Moines city officials recently posed at a city council meeting decked out in the burger joint's iconic blue and orange t-shirts. Ironically, if the Dollar Tree site is chosen, it will actually be in the City of Kent, a technicality that has the valley city's officials blessing what they refer to as the West Hill alternative.


Other local cities are undeterred and encouraging that the expansion to come to them.

Federal Way Mayor Jim Ferrell said he has many great memories of eating at Dick's Drive-In while he was a student at the University of Washington. He has seen lots of interest in the expansion through Facebook and other social media, and would welcome an expansion to Federal Way.

He met with Jim Spady on April 13.

"I gave their team a personal tour of Federal Way and we looked at several really great site locations to bring Dick's to Federal Way," Mayor Ferrell said. 

City Councilmember Armondo Pavone of Renton and its residents also welcome Dick's Drive-In to their city. 

"There was sort of a grassroots campaign and then the residents got involved and shared it quite a bit," Pavone said. 

The residents of Renton are doing a lot of campaigning through social media such as Facebook and Next Door to encourage the Dick's Drive-In expansion to their city. 

Renton welcomes Dick's Drive-In because "It is more than just a hamburger stand. It is something that people have memories attached to," Pavone said, himself a restaurant owner.

Dick's Drive-In hopes to have the newest location up and running by late 2018. 

Dick's Drive-In coming to South King

South King County leaders say they hope to book up an offer Dick's Drive-In can't refuse.

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