Westside Story – Lakewood Mystery Building


Story & Photos – Joseph Boyle

Way back in time around 1969 when I first moved to Lakewood, I noticed a white single family home on the corner of Steilacoom Boulevard and Bridgeport Way SW.  There was a little museum sign out front.  The house had been there forever.

43 years later, the house is gone.  I could not help but notice a new almost windowless and door challenged mystery building being erected.

I don’t know about you, but my curiosity got the best of me.  I had to turn my car around and visit the building site to see what was happening on this prominent Lakewood corner.

I was thinking to myself, this building could be a nuclear bomb shelter and if it is, I will want a key to the only door.

Here is what I found out.  Tim and Marie DeLong are opening a new walk-up restaurant.  Marie has dreamed of owning a burger business dating back to when she was a teenager.


During her years at Lincoln High School, Marie worked for one of our local entrepreneurs, Buck Stein, who owned six Dairy Dell Burger Stands.  While working for Mr. Stein at the 48th and Pacific Avenue location, Marie fell in love with the burger business.

Like any other business, they wish to make a profit, but equally important, they want their employees and the public to have fun with the new business.  With that fun attitude, this new business might well be a nice addition to our city.

Now that Tim is retired from the City of Tacoma and Marie is retired from the Washington State History Museum they will have time to manage their new business, which they plan to call DeLong’s Deluxe.

The name stems from an old family joke.  At home when they cooked up hamburgers and hot dogs, they called them DeLong’s Deluxe.

DeLong’s Deluxe has generated a good number of construction jobs in Lakewood.  In addition, they have hired six new employees to work inside the business once it opens.

While great progress has been made, it will be another 3 weeks before we can taste our first DeLong’s Deluxe burger.

Long-term plans for the site include a drive-through espresso stand.  That is probably a year down the road after the hamburger business opens.

They plan to be open seven days a week from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm.  We will be able to walk up, order our burgers, fries and shakes and then sit on the patio or in the park-like area of the lawn to savor the flavor.

Marie told me they plan to have shade sails to protect us from the sun.

A favorite saying of Marie’s is something like, “You can’t go back home again, but you can go back to your old high school job.”  She is going back.

Check it out.  They will feature burgers, sliders, hot dogs, chilidogs, fries and shakes with prices hovering around $1.95 to $4.50.

Tell them Joe Boyle from the Suburban Times sent you.


  1. Ken Upton says

    At first glance my wife and I groaned at yet ANOTHER hamburger emporium
    opening in Lakewood, however, after reading your informative and updated report, Joe, I’ve reconsidered my opinion…after all, a fellow alumus of my alma mater can do no wrong in opening a dream business of a lifetime! We knew Buck Stein and his very successful hamburger francises which eventually spread out here to Lakewood. As a matter of fact, in my younger days on the east side of Tacoma, his first spot on 48th and Pacific (a Dairy Queen francise) became my favorite oasis for delicious burgers and fries in its day. And if memory serves me right, he was the first to introduce the delcious and yummy “Dilly Bar” ice cream treat to the area, too. So, onward and upward, Marie….and carry forth the legacy of Buck and his very successful hamburger francises.
    Ken Upton, class of ’50…..