Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Florida Atlantic University's first student-run news source.


Now Open in a Location Near You

For years we have been watching the commercials for the 24-hour drive-in joint famous for hot dogs and root beer floats and wondered, when is one going to open up around here? The long-awaited opening of a Sonic near you has ended. Granted, you still have to drive for your juicy hamburger and a cherry limeade, but it’s not nearly as far.

Sonic, “America’s Drive-In,” opened last Saturday, June 9 in Boynton Beach. Less than a half hour north of FAU’s Boca campus and about 40 minutes south of the Jupiter campus, going to Sonic no longer has to be a road trip adventure. Before last week, the closest Sonic drive-ins in Florida were in Naples, Melbourne, Tampa and as far north as Orlando.

“I would go [to Sonic] if I carpooled with some friends – we could make an outing out of it,” says Mayari Gomez, a sophomore graphic design major and Palm Beach Gardens resident. “It’s a long drive just for fast food, but it’s worth it.”

With curbside speakers and a roller-skate clad wait staff, Sonic has revolutionized the fast-food ordering process by allowing customers to place food orders without ever leaving their cars.

Franchise Owner Buddy McClain says Sonic is worth the drive because there is simply nothing else like it. In fact, Sonic is open 24 hours, seven days a week offering breakfast, lunch and dinner at any time of the day. Unlike Mickey D’s, which stops serving breakfast at 11 a.m., you can buy a breakfast burrito at 10 at night and a hamburger at 7 in the morning – perfect for every college student’s schedule.

“Our concept is amazing – Sonic is such a different and unique experience,” says McClain. “We have that old fashion drive-in mentality and roller-skating carhops.”

McClain, who owns 86 Sonic locations – 20 in Tampa, 15 in Alabama and the rest in Mississippi – plans to open 10 more Sonic Drive-Ins in southwest Florida and the South Palm Beach area. But the best news, McClain says he hopes to open a new location in Boca Raton within the next year.

“A lot of people want to go just because of all the ads we’ve seen,” says Mike Esposito, a senior multimedia journalism major. “They are on TV as much as Burger King and McDonald’s now.”

McClain says Sonic commercials started being aired nationally in September 2004 with hopes to get the public excited.

“We served over 2,000 customers on the opening day and people told me they drove over 42 miles to come,” McClain says.

Esposito, a Wellington resident, says he plans to make the drive to Sonic for the mozzarella sticks. “They are really good – nice and juicy and since it”s fast food they are half the price as what you get at a restaurant, but just as good.”

According to the web site, Sonic, which started in Okalahoma as Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, is the nation’s largest drive-in chain with a market capitalization of nearly $3 billion. The drive-in”s name was changed to Sonic in 1959 – which means the speed of sound. Owners picked the name because it echoed their slogan, “Service at the speed of sound.”

Sonic has more than 3,200 drive-ins from coast to coast and one in Mexico. With 893 drive-ins, Texas has the most Sonic locations followed by Okalahoma with 268. We have 118 locations in Florida while Washington, South Dakota and West Virginia each have only one.

“The weather here in Florida fits Sonic real well,” McClain says. “Boynton Beach is a good Sonic town.”

For more information about Sonic or to apply as a carhop, click here or give the new location a call at (561) 733-5311.

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