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Skating to Buffalo: A ‘Sonic’ future?

blog by Ben Tsujimoto  • 

Burger King, McDonalds, Wendy’s, Arby’s—Western New York doesn’t have a shortage of gigantic corporate fast-food chains. The more trendy chains, however, have historically abstained from laying roots in our area, but—judging by Thursday’s news—that could change very soon.

The Buffalo News’ Samantha Maziarz Christmann reports that a Sonic Drive-In will open in Rochester in April 2014 (tentatively). The local franchisee’s plans aren’t limited to the 585 area code, Christmann notes.

[Franchise group leader Fran] DeSimone confirmed Tuesday that he is also hoping to expand into the Buffalo market by late summer 2014. “Yes, we are looking to purchase the Buffalo rights, but we haven’t done it yet,” he said.

Well, what are you waiting for?

Our exposure to Sonic Drive-In has largely come through TV advertisements—you know, the two friends in the front seat of a car, just chattin’ about tots—or viral videos, like Connecticut musician Giorgio Fareira’s soothing serenade into the drive-in microphone.


Typical Sonic hours run from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., and the brand has existed for 60 years—it originated in Oklahoma, if you were curious. If you’re leery about fast food and dedicated to living a healthy lifestyle—but find it impossible to resist the roller skating employees and creamy shakes of the chain—there’s a nutrition chart here.

Foot long Coney Island hot dogs, chili cheese [tater] tots and 25 hand-mixed milkshakes are the primary menu draws—the flavors, which include chocolate cheesecake, pineapple, peanut butter and jelly, and coconut cream pie, are adventurous.

The daily happy hour—which extends for two hours, coincidentally—boasts half-price drinks and slushes. Cherry Limeade and Powerade Mountain Blast Slush seem enticing.

Although White Castle, In-N-Out Burger and Chick-fil-A have yet to explore their potential in Buffalo, the Nickel City will welcome a Trader Joe’s and a Dinosaur BBQ later this year.

Whether we like it or not—and a lot of devout locavores are wary—major chains are starting to plant seeds in Buffalo. Will you embrace or rebel?

TAGGED: fast food chains, sonic drive-in, the buffalo news

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  1. John Mullins June 20, 2013 @ 11:30am

    I’m normally very anti-chain, but Sonic kind of rocks. Breakfast all day. And the food is pretty good for its category. Go Sonic.

    John Mullins's avatar