Finally, after 50 years, Dick’s Drive-In has returned to the Eastside, opening its eighth branch on Thursday at the Crossroads Shopping Center in Bellevue to hundreds of cheering burger fanatics.

Its latest drive-in is the chain’s largest location to date at over 5,000 square feet and with three kitchens, including a commissary for catering and for prepping for its food truck, which started rolling around the area last year.

The drive-in at Crossroads marks the chain’s return to the Eastside after debuting in the early 1960s on Bellevue Way Northeast. Dick’s started in 1954 in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood and has since expanded south to Kent in 2018 and north to Edmonds after the company polled customers on where they should expand next.

“It’s just amazing. All the love here,” said Dick’s President Jasmine Donovan, who brought in experienced crews from other branches to ensure staff at the Bellevue opening didn’t get overwhelmed like the staff were 10 years ago when the Edmonds franchise debuted to huge crowds.

The iconic Seattle burger, which has gotten shout-outs from celebrities such as Sir Mix-A-Lot and Macklemore, was the runaway winner in our readers’ best burger poll.

Bellevue mayor Lynne Robinson praised the late co-founder, namesake and local burger-hero Dick Spady and his siblings. “The Spady family has created an iconic business that is known not just for its excellent food but for its fair employment practices and also for its civic investment in the community,” Robinson said. “We are proud to have a business like Dick’s back in Bellevue.”

Note: This story has been updated to reflect the opening Thursday.