Developer wants to build 2 Sonic Drive-Ins in Thurston County

Good news for those craving a cherry limeade and tater tots: Plans are under way to build two Sonic Drive-Ins in Thurston County.

Known for its carhops on roller skates, the Oklahoma-based fast-food chain has set a goal to open 14 franchises in the Puget Sound region by 2018.

The first local site is slated for a 2-acre vacant lot at Martin Way and Kingham Street in the Tanglewilde area of unincorporated Thurston County. The lot is located in front of Great Floors and across from Winco Foods.

The site also will include the first Church’s Chicken in Thurston County, a Starbucks and a building with 1,843 square feet of retail space, according to county documents. Construction is expected to be finished sometime in 2016.

Leading the effort is developer Serj Drive-Ins Washington. The project’s application is under review and awaits approval for land use, said Tony Kantas, associate planner with Thurston County. After that, the developer will seek a building permit.

Another Sonic Drive-In has been proposed at 1301 Cooper Point Road SW in west Olympia, just north of Black Lake Boulevard near Haggen and Pier One Imports. The 2.6-acre site is currently a wooded lot.

The project includes a Sonic as well as two retail buildings with 3,200 and 4,000 square feet, respectively. Olympia’s Site Plan Review Committee held a presubmission conference on the project Wednesday. This step in the process will help ensure the developer is ready to move forward with a formal application. No construction timeline has been announced.

“We like the site quite a bit. We want to do it,” said Jasmin Patel, owner of Serj Drive-Ins Washington. He said his confidence that the Olympia project will come to fruition is “50-50.”

Patel said his company is still working on buying the Olympia property, and also plans to open a Sonic in Chehalis.

There are more than 3,500 Sonic franchises nationwide, the company reports. Growth in the local market coincides with the company’s push to open 1,000 new franchises in the next 10 years.