Friday, February 18, 2022

[EXCLUSIVE] Sonic Secures Site in Sandy Springs for Small Shop

In the works for more than a year, planning documents now confirm that a new Sonic restaurant is coming to Sandy Springs.  The new restaurant will open at 5903 Roswell Road, about four blocks north of I-285, where it will replace a former Boston Market.  The existing roughly 3,000 square foot building was constructed in 1994 and housed Boston Market until its "temporary" closure in early 2020.  Plans reviewed by ToNeTo Atlanta indicate that Sonic plans to scrape and rebuild the restaurant, aligning it parallel with Roswell Road in a far smaller, roughly 1,200 square foot building.  

The new Sonic should look similar to this prototype introduced in 2020

Sonic Drive-In, known today as simply Sonic, is based in Oklahoma City and currently operates more than 3,500 locations nationwide.   In Georgia, the company's franchisees operate more than a dozen restaurants including those in Kennesaw, Lithia Springs, Norcross, Stone Mountain, Lawrenceville, Suwanee, Winder, Lithonia, and in southeast Atlanta on Moreland Avenue.  Sonic in early 2020 closed restaurants in Decatur and Tucker.  

Sandy Springs based Inspire Brands acquired Sonic for a cool $2.3 billion in late 2018.  

Sonic's menu relies heavily on classic fast food such as burgers, sandwiches, hotdogs, fries, tots, teas, lemonades, sodas, ice cream, slushies and shakes.  The restaurant also offers breakfast with offerings such as breakfast burritos and French toast sticks.  

Known for its use of carhops on roller skates, most Sonic restaurants are in suburban markets where land is less expensive, and the company is able to build larger restaurants with more features.  The Sandy Springs site presents some obvious (and other less obvious) challenges and as such will be a far smaller, more standard drive-thru restaurant that will still offer "drive-in" service.  

Materials reviewed by ToNeTo Atlanta indicate the new Sandy Springs Sonic will feature nine docks for "drive-in" service as well as a covered outdoor patio that may include lawn games.  

Sonic's debut in Sandy Springs should be welcome news for fans of Steak 'n Shake which offered a similar menu but closed its restaurant a little over a mile north of the upcoming Sonic in late 2018 after more than 25 years in business.  

Columbus, Ohio-based red architecture + planning, which according to the firm's website has previously designed restaurants for Chipotle, Arby's, Noodles & Company, Which Wich and Burger King, among others, designed the upcoming Sonic in Sandy Springs.  The new restaurant, which should start construction by May or June, and could open before the end of the year, will be corporately owned.  

Inspire Brands, which in addition to Sonic, also owns Arby's, Jimmy John's, Buffalo Wild Wings, Rusty Taco, Mister Donut, Dunkin' and Baskin-Robbins, has two other projects in the works in the area.  

A new "Dunkin' Go" is expected to open in the near future at 4487 Roswell Road in Chastain Park.  The new drive-thru only location was recently constructed on land that previously housed an Enterprise Rent-A-Car office.  Over in Dunwoody, site work has started on a new Buffalo Wild Wings that is being built in an outparcel of Perimeter Mall near the corner of Ashford Dunwoody Road and Hammond Drive.  

Are you excited for the addition of Sonic to Sandy Springs?  What is your favorite fast-food chain?  Where else would you like to see Sonic open in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below.  


SB said...


Adgirl007 said...

So extremely happy about Sonic in Sandy Springs.

Anonymous said...

Nice. Sometimes you just need some greasy trash food and ice cream.

Anonymous said...

I would have preferred that Boston Market and Steak n Shake returned, and would love to have a Captain D’s and a good meat & three diner in Sandy Springs!

Anonymous said...

I thought CFA bought the lot 😂

Anonymous said...

I'm concerned about that stretch of Roswell already being very congested/dangerous. The in & out traffic of a fast-food restaurant is not outweighed by the need for a 4th primarily fries/burgers/shakes concept on the same stretch - 2 at the next closest intersection. Maybe something with a little later peak traffic like an ice-cream concept would have been a better balance to the needs/traffic issues for that area. Also, it is oddly close to the road. Feel like Sandy Springs town managers didn't want to to say no in Inspire Brands, but anyone else may have not had those plans approved. Hopefully the terrible traffic light timing at 285/Roswell will be fixed before it opens. Time will tell.

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