‘Eastside, you are next!’ Dick’s Drive-in needs help picking new location

SEATTLE — Dick’s Drive-Ins announced Wednesday its plans to build a new restaurant in East King County and they’re asking for help from their customers to find the right location.

The local fast-food chain said it is considering locations as far north as Bothell, as far south as Newcastle and as far east as Redmond, Issaquah and Sammamish.

“Our customers on the Eastside have been waiting a very long time,” President of Dick’s Drive-Ins Jasmine Donovan said in a news release. “We’re excited to finally start the official search.”

The announcement comes just two weeks after Dick’s announced the launch of a food truck coming later this fall.

The company does not have a specific timeline for when the new location on the Eastside will open. Donovan said it will depend on how long it takes to find a good piece of real estate at the right price.

“We paid $1 million for almost an acre of land in Edmonds, and less than that for 2 acres of land in Kent, Donovan said. We know land on the Eastside is very expensive right now. Although, we are prepared to spend more for a good site, we are not sure we can afford the land that we need.”

To help find the land, the company is asking its customers to help give property suggestions or tips here.

The company said both of the properties for their newest locations, Edmonds in 2011 and Kent in 2018, were not officially on the market when they started searching for locations.

“Our customers gave us great leads and the city mayors, council members and development directors were exceptionally helpful in connecting us to great potential sites,” said Donovan.

The first Dick’s Drive-In opened Jan. 28th, 1954 in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood at 111 N.E. 45th Street. Burgers were 19 cents, fries 11 cents and shakes were 21 cents. Today, the company has seven locations: Wallingford, Broadway, Holman Road, Lake City, Queen Anne, Edmonds and Kent.

The Broadway store opened in 1955, then Holman Road in 1960, Lake City in 1963, and Queen Anne – the only indoor location -- in 1974. For a short time there also was a restaurant near Bellevue Square, which opened in 1965.

When the Edmonds location was announced in 2010 -- on Dick Spady’s 87th birthday -- the online survey gained more than 115,000 votes. That was the first new Dick’s Drive-In location since the Queen Anne restaurant opened 37 years earlier.

The Kent location opened in 2018 after a customer poll, similar to the Edmonds location that opened in 2011.