A Different Kind of Business
In 1955, Broadway Dick's opened on Capitol Hill. Holman Road Dick's opened in 1960, the Lake City Dick's in 1963, and the Queen Anne Dick's in 1974. Dick's Drive-in in Edmonds opened in 2011.
Dick Spady was born in Portland, Oregon on October 15, 1923. He served in the Navy in World War II and attended Oregon State University on the G.I. Bill. He served in the Korean War as a commissary officer, where he learned a great deal about running a restaurant.
He was an entrepreneur of burgers, fries, and shakes with a difference. He offered his employees the highest pay in the industry, well above minimum wage. He provided 100 percent paid health-insurance coverage, including to part-time employees. He gave to his employees more than a million dollars in scholarship funds. Spady also gave generous and unremitting support to homeless and community causes, as well as to disaster relief, and public-engagement efforts including sponsoring an initiative that led to the Community Forums Network.
In 2012 a Seattle mayoral proclamation declared a "Dick's Drive-In Day." Dick Spady died on January 10, 2016, at the age of 92.
Dick's Drive-In continues to serve up hamburgers, French fries, and milkshakes. It has remained a local business owned by the Spady family. Jim Spady, one of the sons of Jim and Ina Lou Spady, serves as president.