The seventh Dick’s Drive-In will be in west Kent, the burger chain announced. South King County cities have been wooing Dick’s since it said it would be building another restaurant.
After nearly six months of scouting and being courted by many municipalities, Dick’s Drive-In announced Thursday that its much coveted next restaurant will be in Kent.
The seventh Dick’s — the second outside Seattle — will be 5 miles south of Sea-Tac Airport in west Kent, in the Midway Shopping Center east of Pacific Highway South, near Highline College and south of Highway 516 (Kent-Des Moines Road).
The election drew more than 100,000 votes on the first day, crashing the burger chain’s website. Cities worked to woo the family-owned business.
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Renton and Redmond passed resolutions inviting Dick’s to build in their communities. Cool Bird, the mascot of the Kent-based Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team, campaigned for Kent.
“All of the south region cities have been very welcoming,” said Jasmine Donovan, Dick’s vice president and granddaughter of Dick Spady, the restaurant’s co-founder and namesake. “It was very difficult to pick just one winner, but we can only build one restaurant at a time.”
Kent is a bit of a come-from-behind victor, after a potential Dick’s site appeared to fall through.
“We’re in the running, but we’re not at the front of the pack,” the city’s development director told the City Council in June, according to the Kent Reporter.
Donovan said that the purchase of the property — which is contingent on permitting — should be done by early next year. Construction should begin next spring, she said, and the restaurant should be slinging cheeseburgers, specials and deluxes by the end of next year.
The Kent site will be the second Dick’s outside Seattle, after it expanded to Edmonds in 2011, and after a similar online vote. Dick’s has five Seattle sites — Wallingford, which opened in 1954, Broadway (1955), Holman Road (1960), Lake City (1963) and Queen Anne (1974, and the only sit-down Dick’s). A site in Bellevue was opened in 1967 and closed in 1974.