Seattle-area hamburger standby Dick’s Drive-in is expanding once again — the ninth location will be in Federal Way at The Commons shopping center, the company has announced. Dick’s President Jasmine Donovan said in a news release that the opening is slated for “sometime in 2023. It really depends on the permitting process and the construction process in the post COVID-19 world.”
The latest iteration of Dick’s “will look almost identical to Dick’s Drive-In’s existing location in Kent, as a stand-alone building in the parking lot with customers walking up to service windows,” the detailed statement.
For those new to the Seattle area, Dick’s stands as a nostalgic hometown favorite — and one that’s rapidly expanded in recent years (including a return to the Eastside with the eighth location). Current company president Donovan is the granddaughter of late founder Dick Spady, who died at the age of 92 in 2016. Dick’s touts its longtime policy of providing paid health insurance for all employees and offering scholarships to employees working at least 20 hours a week.
Last year, the company was investigated by the Washington State Department of Labor and Industries after allegations by five employees that workplace conditions at two branches were in violation of COVID-19 operations guidelines and other health requirements. Documentation provided by L&I from August 2021 shows that inspectors found seven serious violations, and according to Dina Lorraine of L&I Public Affairs, “The original penalty was $35,100. Dick’s Drive-in appealed and the fine was reduced to $22,950, which they have paid.”
This past December, Dick’s location on Broadway on Seattle’s Capitol Hill closed for its first upgrade since construction in 1954. The company says it expects to reopen that branch in early summer.