The grand opening of Dick’s Drive-In at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, in Kent will include high school bands, bagpipes, ribbon cutting with local politicians, a pop-up swag store and, of course, burgers, shakes and fries.
The company will open its first drive-in south of Seattle, after the “south” region won the customer vote for its seventh restaurant.
Kent Mayor Dana Ralph; King County Council members Pete Von Reichbauer, Dave Upthegrove and Rod Dembowski; Cool Bird (the Seattle Thunderbirds’ hockey team mascot); Highline College President John Mosby;, and the 12 winners of Dick’s Orange Ticket contest (to be first in line) will help cut the ribbon to open the restaurant.
“We’re so excited to open,” said Jasmine Donovan, executive vice president of Dick’s Drive-In and granddaughter of Dick Spady, its co-founder and namesake, in a company press release. “For our fans in south King County we know it’s been a long wait and we thank you for your patience. We also want to thank everyone at the City of Kent for all of their hard work in helping us reach this milestone, as well as our fantastic construction team.”
The ceremony includes performances by the Thomas Jefferson High School and Kennedy Catholic High School bands and the King County Firefighters Pipes & Drums.
“We know from the enthusiasm on social media that many of our customers are excited to join the celebration,” Donovan said.
In addition to the inaugural burgers, fries and shakes, the event will include the Agitator Hydroplane and crew from nearby Steve Huff Motorsports, a Dick’s pop-up apparel store, artist Jen Clement creating Orange Ticket replicas for sale and music by Meglados Music, a mobile DJ from Seattle.
To ensure that everyone will have a chance to enjoy a burger, fry and shake during the opening days, order quantities will be limited per customer.
When Dick’s announced in March 2017 that it wanted to open a seventh location, the company asked its fans to decide where to build it. The online customer poll resulted in more than 170,000 votes. On March 27, 2017, the company announced the south region had won with 60 percent of the vote. On April 3, 2018, a groundbreaking ceremony was held to officially begin construction of the new restaurant.
The original Dick’s Drive-In location opened in January 1954 on Northeast 45th Street in the Wallingford area of Seattle. The new restaurant will serve south King County and everyone traveling near the Kent-Des Moines exit on Interstate 5 and nearby Highway 99.
Dick’s is at 24220 Pacific Highway S., about 5 miles south of Sea-Tac Airport and close to Highline College in Des Moines. The crew of the new Dick’s Drive-In includes many local students, who have been training at Seattle locations since May, as well as some veteran employees who are lending a hand during the opening weeks.