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Sonic Coming to Uptown? Fast Food Chain Considers Vacant Lot on Wilson

By Adeshina Emmanuel | February 19, 2013 8:49am | Updated on February 19, 2013 10:47am
 A Sonic Drive-In is considering an Uptown location.
A Sonic Drive-In is considering an Uptown location.
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UPTOWN — A Sonic Drive-In could be coming to Uptown this year, though the company said it still is weighing its options.

“We know that community anticipation for Sonic in the Uptown neighborhood is high,” said Sonic spokesman Jason Acock. “At this time, Sonic and its franchisee are still evaluating site options and do not have a definitive time or location for a new Sonic Drive-In in Uptown.”

The drive-in would be the first Sonic within Chicago's city limits. The main site being considered is at 1016 W. Wilson Ave., a vacant lot east of McDonald's, according to 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman's office and neighborhood groups.

The Oklahoma-based chain began in 1953 and now has some 3,500 restaurants across the United States. Sonic is known for such offerings as quarter-pound Coney dogs, Tater Tots, Cherry Limeades and carhop service.

The average store does about $1 million in annual sales, the company said.

A student at nearby Truman College, Chuck Oliva, said he is looking forward to being able to take a short walk from school to snag a Supersonic Double Bacon Cheeseburger — "with cheese tots!"

"That will be great for the city," Oliva said. "Beats driving to Franklin Park, Country Club Hills and Calumet City."

Acock was reluctant to be specific about Sonic's plans in advance of permits, property agreements and other city red tape being cleared. He also declined to comment on what site options Sonic is evaluating, but said the company is looking to expand into the city and sees Uptown as an up-and-coming neighborhood.

"Moving into the Uptown neighborhood would be, of course, an ideal situation," he said.

Sonic representatives told the 46th Ward office that they are hoping to open sometime in early fall, said Tressa Feher, Cappleman's chief of staff.

"It will be great to have a long-vacant lot turn into a business that has a good reputation and a strong following," she said.

The store would sit within the boundaries of one neighborhood block club, Truman Square Neighbors, which has had several meetings with Sonic representatives.

"We are strongly behind this development," the block club said.