Five months after thousands of online voters chose South Seattle over the Eastside as the region where they’d most want to get a Dick’s Drive-In restaurant, the popular burger chain chose Kent as the winning locale.
In an announcement Thursday morning — shown live on Facebook — from its first-ever restaurant in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, Dick’s president Jim Spady and his daughter Jasmine announced that Kent had beaten out other contenders such as West Seattle, Renton, Burien, SeaTac, Tukwila, Auburn, Normandy Park, Des Moines and Federal Way.
The new restaurant will be located Near Highline College on SR 99/Pacific Highway South about five miles south of Sea-Tac Airport. It will be the seventh eatery in the chain, which was started in 1954 by founder Dick Spady.
“We can only do one restaurant at a time, we’re just a family business,” Jim Spady said in the Facebook Live video, adding that it’s a tough time to be buying property because people want a very high price for that property.
Specials guests ended the suspense. Kent Mayor Sue Cooke, joined by the mascot for the Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team, carried out a sign announcing their city as the winner.
“Yayyy! We’re No. 1,” Cooke said while jumping up and down.
The restaurant is a Seattle institution and small changes have crept in in recent years, including the acceptance of modern forms of payment after a long standing policy of cash only. The Queen Anne location even played host to a Snapchat Spectacles vending bot earlier this year, and fans circled the restaurant to get their hands on the high-tech camera glasses.