Before Dick's, It Was Day's

Have you been to the new Dick's yet? Glad Edmonds finally has a classic burger drive-in? Well, surprise! Dick's isn't the first. Back in the 1960s you'd grab your date, set the radio to KJR and head for Day's at Sixth and Main for your burger fix.

It was 1966.

Lyndon Johnson was in the White House. It was the year cigarette packs started carrying health warnings, the first episode of Star Trek aired on TV and Simon and Garfunkel burst on the national scene with "Sounds of Silence." The Beatles released Yesterday and Today and Revolver. Pampers created the first disposable diaper, and a gallon of gasoline cost 32 cents.

In Edmonds, the , a relic from the 1960 Seattle World's Fair, served as a yacht sales center on the waterfront. The City Council approved construction of the Wade James Theater as a permanent home for the Driftwood Players. And commuters were driving to Seattle in 30 minutes on the newly opened Interstate 5.

As far as food food went, Ronald McDonald first appeared as the mascot for McDonald's Restaurants, and several TV commercials and a spot in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade made him an instant hit.

But there were no golden arches in Edmonds in 1966. When Edmonds residents got the urge to cruise for burgers, they went to Day's Drive-In at Sixth and Main in the heart of downtown.

Day's was a treat for the senses and a piece of classic Americana. The menu went beyond the standard burgers and fries to include pizza, chicken and, of course, fish and chips.

You could park outside and eat in your car while listening to KJR 95-AM radio jock Pat O'Day spin top 40s hits by the Beatles, Merilee Rush and the Ventures. But this was, after all, the Pacific Northwest, and Day's offered indoor seating for those wanting shelter from the weather.

Today, the legacy of Day's in downtown Edmonds is carried on by and the newly opened . But for a genuine drive-in experience, cruise to at Highway 99 and 220th. Order up a shake, a Deluxe with fries, and head for your car. Turn on the radio, crank up the oldies and close your eyes.

Now breathe in the sweet essence of classic American drive-in burger wafting from the white paper bag, and travel back through time to 1966 at the corner of Sixth and Main.

Laurelle Walsh December 15, 2011 at 03:58 PM
I thought it was D's Drive In.
Larry Vogel December 15, 2011 at 04:34 PM
The photo clearly says "Day's"...But it would sure follow that the nickname "D's" happened early on. I'm a more recent transplant to Edmonds (1991), and wasn't here during this time. I found this photo at the Edmonds Historical Museum, and their database identified it as Day's Drive-In.
Katrina Howard Fairley December 15, 2011 at 10:35 PM
The Ford geodesic Dome was designed by TC Howard of Synergetics, Inc for the 1962 World's Fair. He also designed the geodesic dome screen for the Spacearium , now the Pacific Science Center laser dome. And the Bubbleator and the Cube Cloud exhibit in the Key Arena for the fair.
Brian Soergel December 16, 2011 at 01:47 AM
Katrina: Thanks for the history and adding to the article.
Peter Duncan EHS '70 February 28, 2012 at 04:59 PM
D's was the name given to it by the folks who bought it from the Day family. In addition to a "classic drive-in", we also had a classic soda fountain(Mrs Bienz' on Main), a classic diner(Al's, at the foot of Main, in an old train car), and a great cafe, the Polar Bear on 4th north of Main.
Larry Vogel February 28, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Thanks! I'm always scouring for old photos, and I'll keep my eyes open for these. If you have any, I'd be very grateful if you'd send them my way. LV
Peter Duncan EHS '70 February 28, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Edmonds Museum has a great one of Al's Diner, but the only ones I could find there for Mrs Bienz' and the Polar Bear are obscured
Larry Vogel February 28, 2012 at 06:35 PM
I have the one of Al's...hopefully more will show up from folks' private collections!
Larry Vogel March 02, 2012 at 09:32 PM
OK Peter, you've got me going on this. I just dug out four old photos of Al's, and hope to feature it next week. I'd love to know anything you can tell me about the place...favorite menu items (an old menu if you have one!), when it opened/closed, any anecdotes, stories, etc. Some demolition pix would be great too. Thanks!
Michael Day June 26, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Day's Drivein was opened by my dad in 1961. In 1968 it was sold to the Dunning's and renamed to D's Drivein. Some of our menu items were the monster burger, Midnight Special and of course our fish and chips. My father went through more than 300lbs of link cod each week. Mike Day EHS class of 1962
Peter Duncan EHS '70 June 26, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Cool, Mike. I've asked Tom, but never hear back. I well remember riding my bike there to buy dinner, then riding home one handed with a big ol' bag of great fish & chips.
Larry Vogel June 26, 2012 at 06:21 PM
I can almost taste the fish and chips....Thanks, Michael!
Michael Day June 27, 2012 at 05:15 PM
One of our other menu favorites was a mealin one (Deluxe buger,fries and choice of drinks 49 cents)
Kevin Donahue November 28, 2012 at 03:18 AM
WOW, I was killing time surfing the web and found this! I worked at D's from 1969 to 1972. I like to say I grew up on the corner of 6th and Main. I remember when the price of fries went up from 13 cents to 15 cents, there was almost a riot from the after school junior high rush on that day! The Monster Burger, 3 meat, 2 cheese, onions, lettace, tomato and pickle on a toasted bun. I must have explained that to a thousands of customers. I watched the first moon landing on a TV during one of my shifts, there was not a customer in the place or any cars driving up or down mainstreet. Thanks for bringing back the memories...
Edward Dickson June 18, 2013 at 07:52 PM
I moved to Edmonds at the tender age of 4 in '69.... By the time I was 7 I'd ride my bike from our house on Olympic Ave down to get a Nitemare Special, (Monster Burger, Fries, and a Root Beer Shake. Never a deviation!), on Saturday afternoons..... Dicks is good, grant you, but not even CLOSE to a Day's Nitemare Special!


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