Sonic Drive-in opens in Massachusetts, 8-26-09

 Regular readers of this blog may remember I mentioned in a post this past June that the first Sonic Drive-In in the New England region was slated to be built on U.S. Rte. 1 north in Peabody, Mass. It’s location was marked for years by an old sign that said “Motel Entrance”. The sign was a relic from one of 3 motels I believe were in this area which had been leveled and redeveloped quite a number of years ago.

Back at the end of April, I finally decided that I personally needed to document this sign with photographs, (I had seen other people had done this on flickr). I figured, I drove by it twice a day on the way to and from work and there was no excuse for not stopping. Also, I figured it just wasn’t going to be around that much longer. So the photo below is one from that morning in April.

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Ironically, I included one of those photos in my Local Roadside Memories Slide Show, (first shown on May 19th at the Lynnfield Historical Society). In fact I had another presentation for the Medford Historical Society on June 16th and that very day I noticed there was some construction equipment on the site starting to clear the land. At this point I did not know what was going there. Within a couple of weeks I did find out, see the photo below….

Motel-Entrance_Sonic-1

Boy, was I surprised! That is when I posted the news here on Diner Hotline. So after the site prep was complete in early July, I began to document the construction of the new Sonic Drive-in. I was told by someone connected with the opening of this outlet that the completion of this project broke all previous records, something like 65 days. Here is a timeline, week by week.

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Week One – July 10, 2009

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Week One – July 10, 2009

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Week Two – July 19, 2009

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Week Two – July 19, 2009

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Week Three – July 26, 2009

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Week Three – July 26, 2009

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Week Three – July 30, 2009

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Week Three – July 30, 2009

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Week Four – August 2, 2009

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Week Four – August 2, 2009

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Week Four – August 2, 2009

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Week Five – August 8, 2009

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Week Five – August 8, 2009

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Week Five – August 8, 2009

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Week Five – August 8, 2009

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Week Five – August 8, 2009

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Week Five – August 8, 2009

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Week Six – August 16, 2009

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Week Six – August 16, 2009

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Week Six – August 16, 2009

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Week Six – August 21, 2009

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Week Six – August 21, 2009

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Week Six – August 22, 2009

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Week Six – August 22, 2009

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Week Six – August 22, 2009

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Week Six – August 22, 2009

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Week Six – August 22, 2009

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Week Seven – August 25, 2009.  This is training day for the crew!

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Week Seven – August 25, 2009.  This is training day for the crew!

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Week Seven – August 25, 2009.  This is training day for the crew!

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Week Seven – August 25, 2009.  This is training day for the crew!

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Week Seven – August 26, 2009. Opening Day!

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Week Seven – August 26, 2009. Opening Day!
I had just placed my order after waiting in line for just over an hour!

5 thoughts on “Sonic Drive-in opens in Massachusetts, 8-26-09

  1. Larry, what an interesting look at the Sonic of Mass! We have one too close to our house, and it’s interesting that it looks much different from the one you have photographed. I wonder if they did the brick/clapboard/traditional looking thing in Mass because they wanted to, or because of some zoning restriction.

    I am curious to know what you ordered and what you thought of it? I am no saint so I have ordered at Sonic a couple of times in PA and DE – I like their frito chili cheese wrap, which sounds weird but I dig it. Esp. the $1 version.

    I’ll take some photos of the ones near me so you can see what I’m talking about. I don’t even know how they look specifically, but I know that Mass one doesn’t look like them at all!

  2. Beth, I had the No. 4 Chicken Sandwich Large Combo. I got the the large Tots with that Combo but instead of the large soda (that’s tonic to you and me) I opted for the vanilla Shake. The sandwich was good but I think I’ll try the fries next time. I’m also thinking about the Corn Dog.

    As far as the style of building, from what I see it must be the New England variation. I’ve seen photos online of ones in New Jersey and I believe Brian Butko also showed some shots of one near Pittsburgh. I’m not sure of any local restrictions for the building by the Town of Peabody. There is another slated to be built next in Wilmington, so we’ll see what that one ends up looking like. I was told that there are 7 slated for this area.

  3. Larry – This is too cool – a Sonic documentary! Sonics in my area are more common than mailboxes. (We have 5 in our town of 60,000, near the Ozarks.) The newer ones around here have a funky space-age look to them. The new one you’ve pictured is by far the classiest Sonic I’ve seen. Many years ago, they were finished in brick, but haven’t been in a long time. I’m surprised to see a drive-up window – that’s not at all standard for them, and it sure looks like a smart way to ensure that customers who aren’t used to the old style drive-ins (which is most people today, of course) have a comfort level. Between that, the upgraded facade and their killer Coneys (chili dog with cheese – I limit myself to a few each year!) they should do well there.

  4. Hi Dave, long time no hear! I believe all the ones being built in the northeast (NJ, NY, PA, etc.) have the drive-thru’s. If you go online you can see photos of the ones in NJ and see they are similar in a way to this one in Massachusetts.

  5. So I had Sonic in Kansas & it is delicious!! They have an Island Fire Burger that I’m sure will be back in summer, EXCELENT!! Their Onion Rings and Tator Tots are awesome and for drinks a Lemon-Berry Slush, Grape Sprite is yummy and Watermelon Sprite, Lime-Ade and… well anything. Their burgers are yummy, I use to work there, their ice cream is good too and the whipped topping that goes on top is incredible. I live an hour away from Sonic but I’m trying to find a ride out there. I miss Sonic and I’m glad its Mass.

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