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Dick’s Drive-In to build new location south of Seattle

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After weeks of online voting, the verdict is in: A new Dick’s Drive-In will be built in what the burger icon is calling the south region – or south of Seattle.

More than 100,000 votes were cast on the first day of voting, with more than 177,645 votes overall.

South took the lead in the first hour of voting and never gave it up. It received 60 percent of the vote, with about 100,000 votes cast.  The east region had about 75,000 votes cast.

Possible south locations include West Seattle, South Seattle, Renton, Burien, SeaTac,Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Normandy Park, Des Moines and Federal Way. Restaurant management will be speaking with development directors in different cities.

Dick’s vice president, Jasmine Donovan, said they are looking for about an acre of property near high schools, colleges, night life and busy highways. Whatever city has the best site will get the new Dick’s location.

The new location is set to open near the end of next year.

For those who live in the east region, Dick’s president, Jim Spady, said that eventually, there will be a Dick’s east of Seattle.

Spady said they cannot open more than one location at a time because Dick’s is a family business with limited resources.

The new location will be the seventh Dick’s Drive-In, which was started in 1954 in Seattle. The most recent location to open was Edmonds in October 2011, which also was selected by online voting.

“Five years ago, when the north region won our 2010 poll, we promised our customers that we would continue to expand east and south if our north location was a success,” Jim Spady, president of Dick’s Drive-Ins, said in a statement. “Opening our location in Edmonds was an incredible experience and we’re very happy to ask our customers to again help us decide where we build next.”

Spady is the son of namesake Dick Spady, who died last year at age 92. Follow this link to read Spady’s obituary.

Related >> See a photo of Dick’s in the 1950s, and other vintage Seattle photos

In the 2010 online voting, the company said it would open a new location in one of three regions: north, south or east.

The north region — which included Shoreline, Mountlake Terrace, Lynnwood, Edmonds and South Everett — won with 46 percent of the vote. South was second with 28 percent.

The first Dick’s Drive-In opened Jan. 28th, 1954 in Wallingford at 111 N.E. 45th Street. Burgers were 19 cents, fries 11 cents and shakes were 21 cents.

“We still use fresh, never-frozen beef and buns, we still hand-cut our fries from real  potatoes, and we still hand-dip and individually whip our shakes,” Jim Spady said. Our tradition of quality food, instant service, taking care of our employees and investing in our communities will continue as we grow.”

The Broadway store opened in 1955, then Holman Road in 1960, Lake City in 1963, Queen Anne 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.

In 2015, Dick’s was ranked No. 13 on a list of best U.S. cheeseburgers by The Daily Meal.

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