It's only been five months since the ground-breaking of the sixth location of Dick's Drive-In in Edmonds, but as of yesterday, they are officially open for business. Over 800 eager South Snohomish County burger lovers lined up for yesterday's grand opening celebration, ready to chow down on the popular burgers, fries, and shakes.
Image courtesy of Dick's Drive-In Hundreds of hungry burger fans ready for the first burgers off the grill.
Excitement for the big day has been fueled by posts from fans on the company's Facebook page. Jim Spady, Dick's vice president and son of Dick Spady, said, "The outpouring of support and enthusiasm from the community for our local family business has been humbling and overwhelming. We could not have picked a better place to add 35 new jobs and to start building new friendships and memories."Fans hungry for burgers started lining up early at 3 a.m. (well, at least one woman did), while the seasoned staff fired up the grills, chopped potatoes fresh for the fryers, and filled napkin holders and small cups of ketchup, tartar sauce, and chopped onions (each will cost you 5 cents extra). Jodie Greeleaf, the Edmonds store manager, has been with the company for over 22 years, and oversees a team of both veteran staffers and new hires.
The grand opening event began at 3 p.m. with marching bands from Lynnwood and Edmonds-Woodway high schools, the Northwest Junior Pipe Band, VIP guests who won spots at the front of the line via a Facebook contest, and company founder Dick Spady, who just celebrated his 88th birthday last week. The crowd eventually began chanting, "We want Dick's! We want Dick's!"
The opportunity to open a new location--the company's first in 37 years--arrived in 2010, thanks to a combination of low real estate prices, low interest rates, and a local economy in need of more business investment and jobs. The Edmonds location has bathrooms and an ATM (with a $2.50 surcharge), something they plan to install at each location. Otherwise, the newest Dick's Drive-In looks much like the others, with its large windows, stainless-steel counters, and iconic Dick's sign.
Lines of hundreds of people continued through the evening, with the average wait time around 45 minutes even at 11 p.m. Rumors of prices being rolled back to 19 cents--the price of a burger when the first Dick's opened in 1954--were untrue, but even the 2011 price of $1.25 is a pretty good deal. Rumors about the company breaking their single-day sales record in just five hours are true, however, though exact figures have yet to be shared. The most popular menu items remain the Dick's Deluxe ($2.70), french fries ($1.50), cheeseburgers, and shakes ($2.15).
Dick's Drive-In is located at 21910 Hwy 99 in Edmonds, one mile west of I-5 off exit 179 at 220th St. S.W. It is open seven days a week from 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Cash only.