Our Northwest

Dick Spady left us a cultural fixture

Tuesday, January 12, 2016by  Jon Osterberg

The founder of the ever-popular Dick’s Drive-In burger joints has died at 92.
     Dick Spady opened his first restaurant on N.E. 45th in Seattle in 1954, selling hamburgers for 19¢. Between 1955 and 2011 he opened additional locations on Capitol Hill, Holman Road, Lake City, Bellevue, Queen Anne, and Edmonds.
     A Seattle Times article characterized the Bellevue location as “little-remembered,” but for Eastside residents it was well-known from the 1960s until it closed in 1973. Undeniably, that was a different era – the Dick’s on Bellevue Way, now the site of the Hyatt Regency, was known as much for its Friday and Saturday night fights among tough-guy patrons as it was for its cheeseburgers and fries.
     Dick’s is so imbedded in Seattle culture that it’s not uncommon to see wedding parties there. That was the case in 2009 when my daughter, Kristin, and husband Jason stopped at the original Dick’s for their first post-nuptials meal. (Thanks to Jason Koenig of jkoephoto.com for shooting these pictures.)
     When he celebrated his 90th birthday in 2013, Spady said, “It’s been a good life. I’m very fortunate.”

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