Pick-Quick Drive In – a family-owned burger, shakes and fries restaurant – has closed its Auburn doors after nearly nine years of operation on the corner of 12th Street Northeast and Auburn Way North.
In a competitive burger town, Pick-Quick struggled to keep pace with fast-food giants.
Gerard Centioli, president and CEO of Icon LLC, part owner of the establishment, said the time had come to pull the plug. The eatery went dark, empty just last week. The 2,450-square-foot restaurant had employed up to 10 people, some of whom will be relocated to work at Pick-Quick’s other restaurants.
“Ten years is a good run,” Centioli said. “After 10 years, it was time to determine what’s going to be done in the go-forward basis. We didn’t think it was best to continue for another 10 years there. It wouldn’t be the right thing.
“We are grateful to the city of Auburn, our neighbors and customers for their support over the past 10 years,” he added. “We certainly enjoyed serving the Auburn community. We welcome the opportunity to continue serving Pick-Quick customers at our Fife and SoDo locations.”
The Auburn restaurant – which officially opened on March 8, 2011 – was the first expansion for the popular, family-owned operation since it originally opened for business in Fife in 1949. Pick-Quick, a Burgi-family-owned burger institution, and Seattle-based Icon LLC, owned by the Centioli family, formed a partnership to bring Pick-Quick Drive In 2 to Auburn.
Pick-Quick opened a third location in SoDo at 2990 Fourth Ave. S, Seattle, in 2016.
Centioli said the Fife and SoDo drive-ins continue to perform well. But the original, 70-year-old eatery in Fife faces an uncertain future. Sound Transit has plans to extend its light rail reach, a route from Angle Lake in Federal Way to Tacoma. In its path are Pick-Quick and other businesses.
Fans of the Fife hamburger hub have launched a petition drive to help save it.
“We certainly hope that will be the case,” Centioli said. “It’s been there since 1949. It’s been an outstanding part of the Fife community, and we want to see that continue.”
Centioli said another Pick-Quick may sprout elsewhere, this time north of Seattle.