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Sonic Drive-In Opening May Be Pushed to April Because of Brutal Winter

 Sonic Drive-In is coming to Wilson Avenue in Uptown.
Sonic in Uptown
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UPTOWN — The opening of a Sonic Drive-In restaurant in Uptown has been delayed again, with the possibility that the restaurant opens in April rather than company officials' March target.

Chicago's first Sonic has had the misfortune of being built during one of the city's most brutal winters. 

The office of 46th Ward Ald. James Cappleman (46th) said in January, when Sonic was expected to open, that Sonic had run into problems at the construction site, 1016 W. Wilson Ave., due to frigid temperatures making it too cold for materials used for the parking lot surface to set properly. 

The opening date was pushed back to March. Now, that too is in question.

Wednesday morning, Sonic spokesman Jason Acock said the company aims to open at the end of March  or in early April — because "the ground needs to be unfrozen for a certain amount of time," before the parking lot can be completed.

"The weather is kind of always causing us to relook at when the opening date is," he said.

Uptown Update reported that the ground needs about two weeks to thaw once the weather is above 50 degrees, and about three weeks' more work on the site before Sonic opens, according to Cappleman's office.

And another Sonic spokesperson, Lindsey Glosniak, wrote in an email later on Wednesday that Sonic "will not be open for business in March," because of cold weather impeding construction.

The Oklahoma-based chain, known across the U.S. for quarter-pound Coney dogs, Tater Tots and Cherry Limeades, said the Uptown location would feature a dining room with a fireplace, free Wi-Fi, a covered patio outside, and a double drive-through with nine stalls for curbside service from Sonic's iconic skating carhops.

Weather hasn't been the only thing slowing Sonic's arrival in Uptown. The opening has also been riddled by bureaucratic red tape. But the company obtained necessary city permits to begin construction in the fall after delaying plans for a summer opening. 

Between 75-100 people will work at the new Sonic, according to the company, which has about 3,500 drive-ins across the country and serves about 3 million customers a day in mostly rural and suburban locales. 

For previous coverage of Sonic Drive-In's expansion into Uptown, click here.