Carhops rushed out the doors with the classic brown bags and slushies as cars filled the drive-in stations at the new Sonic on West Court Street.
The new location, located at 968 W. Court St., opened for business on Thursday after four months of construction.
“It feels amazing. Everything is almost going as smooth as we want, but it’s going wonderful,” Sonic Drive-In part owner Megan Esparza said. “We’re happy to be able to be open again and we’re super excited about the system. We love the system, we love the playground and volleyball court. We love it all so far.”
After Esparza took over the old spot, located across the street at 961 W. Court St., nearly five years ago, she said the franchise group believed they needed to expand.
So when the two lots across the street, formerly Charmain’s Hairstyling, became available the group took advantage of the opportunity, she said.
After four months of construction, the new space now features a volleyball court, playscape, the traditional drive-up spaces and a drive-thru.
The court and the playscape are also available for families or friends to use for parties or get-togethers at no cost, Esparza said.
“We’re letting people know that we’re not charging for the playscape or the volleyball court,” she said. “The playscape itself is available for birthday parties. The only thing we ask is they buy food and drinks from us. They’re, of course, allowed to bring their own cake. The same for the volleyball court. We’re looking to do a league night and also an hour of reserved free play.”
If a group is interested in playing for an hour, Esparza said, they just have to call the restaurant and reserve their time slot.
While the building and location may have changed, the traditional menu with the tater tots and the Chili Cheese Coney remains the same.
“It’s exactly the same menu we had at the old location,” Esparza said. “I know a lot of customers were wondering if our prices were going to change, but there are no price changes. We literally just moved over the menus and it’s a different system. I’ve had so many ask if there are going to be prices going up. Of course, prices always go up eventually, but they aren’t right now.”
The location still has the same specials and Happy Hour from 2 to 4 p.m.
“We’re just on a better property and in a better building. We’re excited to take care of the customers,” Esparza said.
Esparza said the old location is completely closed and will serve as a storage space in the meantime.
“Our franchise is probably going to keep it for six months to a year and use it as storage space,” she said. “It’s especially being used as parking for our employees right now since our new location has slots for our customers. So employees are currently using that for parking so we have more room for customers on our property. Eventually, we’ll clean it up and sell it off to the building and lot.”
Although everything is up and running, Esparza asked that customers bear with them since there are new employees and there is a new system.
“Just please try to be patient with us,” she said. “It’s a whole new system for all of us including me and I’ve been with Sonic for 14 years. All we can do is learn and little by little we’ll get the hang of it. Just have some grace with us and be patient. We’re doing our best.”