Sonic in a former Taco Bell

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cjd
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Sonic in a former Taco Bell

Post by cjd » November 4th, 2018, 6:54 pm

Most Sonics I've seen are new build locations. They have a large covered area for in car or picnic table dining, a small interior that is the kitchen area and restrooms along the outside wall.

However, the Sonic in my town opened up last year in a former Taco Bell which I think was probably a late 80s or early 90s build. Taco Bell had moved to a new building about a block away in 2016.

Anyway, Sonic surprisingly did not change the building that much. They added a covered area for in car dining but it's away from the building. Instead of outside picnic tables they kept the dining inside, and they also kept the drive thru! I've never seen a Sonic with all of this. I haven't eaten there, but it does seem like a bit of a safety issue for the car hops, because the side with the awning for cars is located on the same side as the drive thru window. So they presumably have to cross the street at the drive thru to get out to the cars.

Has anyone else seen Sonic conversions that are similar?

Also I wonder how well this location does. It was always packed for about 4 months after it opened. However Sonics in smaller towns here have closed recently.

Super S
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Re: Sonic in a former Taco Bell

Post by Super S » November 5th, 2018, 7:34 am

Sonic still has a somewhat small presence in my area. And I will confess that I have never eaten there. But I have never seen anything but new builds from them.

An old Taco Bell doesn't seem even remotely close to a facility that would be ideal for Sonic. Many in my area (mostly older)are situated on small pieces of land which don't even lend well to expanding the building, let alone a covered area necessary for car hop service. It seemed like in the 1990s they went on a building spree in my area where they were cramming new restaurants into the smallest amount of space possible, with little parking, and I have seen a few where some longer vehicles have a hard time with a sharp turn at the end of the drive-thru, requiring them to back up and turn sharper. Some are literally on the edge of a property line, are situated awkwardly, and require you to cross the drive-thru lane just to enter the building.

The newest Taco Bells I have seen do not have these issues.

Brian Lutz
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Re: Sonic in a former Taco Bell

Post by Brian Lutz » November 5th, 2018, 11:56 am

Sonic has been slow to expand into this area, but all of their locations here so far have been new builds. One thing I did see at one point was that there were a few so-called "Sonic Beach" locations in the Miami/Fort Lauderdale area. These seemed to be larger Sonic locations with more seating (in some cases even indoor seating) than a typical Sonic, and which served beer and wine. There was also one across the street from Fort Lauderdale Beach which was basically a walk-up counter with a limited menu. As far as I can tell all these locations have closed, and there are currently no Sonic locations in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. There's still a website (http://www.sonicbeach.com/) but it seems to be orphaned. There have been no updates to their Twitter since 2015 and their Facebook page has been deleted.

My guess is that this was more of the work of an individual franchisee than anything from Sonic corporate.

BillyGr
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Re: Sonic in a former Taco Bell

Post by BillyGr » November 6th, 2018, 10:57 am

Brian Lutz wrote:
November 5th, 2018, 11:56 am
These seemed to be larger Sonic locations with more seating (in some cases even indoor seating) than a typical Sonic, and which served beer and wine. There was also one across the street from Fort Lauderdale Beach which was basically a walk-up counter with a limited menu. As far as I can tell all these locations have closed, and there are currently no Sonic locations in Miami or Fort Lauderdale. There's still a website (http://www.sonicbeach.com/) but it seems to be orphaned. There have been no updates to their Twitter since 2015 and their Facebook page has been deleted.

My guess is that this was more of the work of an individual franchisee than anything from Sonic corporate.
The first one they built up here in the Albany NY area (Latham) has indoor seating as well (which the one a few years earlier to our south around Kingston didn't have). No beer and wine, though (but that may depend on state rules more than anything as to the difficulty of such a license).

Haven't been by the second one (Troy) so I can't be sure if they have seating as well or not, though it would make more sense to add such in these areas with colder seasons that make outdoor seating (and even eating in the car) less likely.

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