Sonic boom on the horizon?

Jan. 5 UPDATE: The Sonic is set to open. They’ve already served some food on a limited basis, as part of employee training. I’m getting a tour of the place tomorrow for a weekend story, and the official grand opening will be either Monday or Tuesday.

Have you heard? After years of being subjected to its arguably clever commercials, Hayward residents will soon get to sample the Hot Fudge Shakes, Coney Dog & Tots, and Xtra-long Bacon Cheddar Cheese Steaks that come along with a Sonic Burger Drive-In.

The sign is up at the Fairway Park shopping center, and a wooden frame is rising at the former Arby’s site, 31187 Mission Blvd. While the official Bay Area Sonic Web site states a December opening, we contacted Rashid Cinos, the man behind the new Sonic.

“It’s a bit too early to touch bases,” Cinos said. “Give me two weeks. By then we should have some immediate milestones, a better idea of when we will be opening.”

Will do, Mr. Cinos. Last we heard, there was some design modification that had to be completed to make the site appropriate for the Sonic business model, which is carhop-style fast-food, with no indoor sit-down restaurant.

Jon Fong shot us an e-mail seeking more information about what he says is “quite some news” for a lot of people, at least his peers, who have been tantalized by the commercials but denied easy Sonic access.

Read Jon’s thoughts and more after the jump.

“The restaurant itself can only be found locally in Tracy,” writes Fong. “Frustrating, since the commercials air frequently, yet there is none around.”

Fong said he’s eaten at the Tracy venue a few times, and found the restaurant was both “a typical fast food burger chain,” yet “interesting” for including such items as tater tots instead of fries, and fruit drink slushes. He also likes the drive-up order style. And again, he mentioned the “witty commercials.”

“That, along with their lack of locations in the Bay Area makes them an unfulfilled mystery that all have heard of but few have experienced,” he said. “Somewhat reminiscent of when In & Out or Krispy Kreme first moved into the Bay Area from Southern California.”

We’ll keep Jon and everyone else updated.

Oh, and looking for a job? Sonic is hiring.

And not to give a national chain all the burger props today, Val’s Burgers got a shout out on the A Hamburger Today site, which is seeking reviews. AHT doesn’t have any local correspondents, so they want to hear word from the people about this Val’s joint they’ve been hearing about. It’s a chance for Val’s fans to tell them what they’re missing!

Eric Kurhi

  • J. W. Kyle

    While visiting with my Daughter’s family in Louisville Ky. we were led to the local “sonic” hot dog drive in operation. Of Course it was located in a growing area of suburbs associated with Louisville, something of an upsacle area where administrative offices, (not operations) such as UPS and other recognized HQ’s are located.

    Thank God it will be located on Mission in Fairway Park, the sign work was outrageous, litter was out of control and the doggies did not match our local Kasper’s operation nor that of Casper’s.

    The Burgers were acceptable but did not come close to matching California’s rapidly growing chain of ‘In and Out’ Burger operation where you have a choice of single patty or double patty burgers which are perpared as you order…. not packaged in carboard and left ubder a heat lamp as a means of ‘getting ahead’ of demand.

    But good luck any way… Fairway Park needs a litlle glitz. When last I counted Hessperian Blvd had about 48 restaurants and fast food joints between San Lorenzo’s Via Hacinda and Rte 92 just south of Chabot College. The count did not count the food plaza or other food operations in Southland Mall, nor did it include anything on Hesperian South of Rte 92. Note that Costco will open on NOVEMBER 24th and they too will have a fast food operation..

    Does Mom cook at home anymore?

    The remodled Mac Donald’s at Bokman sees some business but I have yet to see anything near full use of the parking arrangement.

    Lord, please do not permit more fast food joints into Hayward !!!

  • Now alot of people will be coming to Fairway Park to the only Sonic in the bay area. that’s awesome!

    I wish we had more fast food in my area (between downtown & Kelly hill). we used to have a Taco Bell on B St. but it closed. now the closest food places are in downtown. Burger King should come back. and a Little Ceasers would be great at or around Cinema Place.

  • J. W. Kyle


    Isn’t Val’s near the intersection of B Kelley and Center St.?

    How could you pass that up?

    No way will folks come from more than three or four miles, excluding of course those stuck on Mission enroute to or from Niles and Fremont in tight traffic conditions….

    Any way wish ’em luck!

  • yeah, but its not cheap. i havent had a burger from Vals yet. but they got hella good shakes.

  • Sherry

    Mmm Sonic!! How you taunt me with your silly commercials!!

    Having grown up in SoCal, I miss Sonic!!

    Cant wait til they open!

  • Julie

    I love Sonic and have been known to drive to Tracy just for my Sonic drink fix….so I am very happy!!! Any updates on when it will be open?

    And btw…Sonic does not have cheesesteaks…u may mean the Extra Long Chili Cheese Coney…my mouth is watering….

  • Eric Kurhi

    Ah, apparently the Xtra Long Bacon Cheddar Cheesesteak was a limited-time item:


    My bad. My Sonic experience has also been limited by the lack of an outlet in the East Bay and I selected the menu items in the post based on Sonic commercials.

  • qodrn

    I am now forced to drive to San Leandro to eat at Arby’s. If they had to add a new fast food place, an IN and Out would have been okay. I have to drive to San Leandro for that too…I am getting to old to drive….

  • Julie

    thanks Eric!! That clears up my confusion (well on that subject anyway).

    As far as Sonic goes, for me, the things that make the Sonic experience different than other fast food joints are:
    1. the ordering – pull into a stall, take your time making up your mind what you’d like then let them know by pushing the little red button. And then get it delivered to your car, sometimes by a carhop on roller skates. you can use your debit/credit card to pay right there also, each stall has it’s own card reader.
    2. the drink experience – Sonic ice is famous among its customers – it’s nugget ice that delivers ice cold drinks without watering them down too quickly. And that’s just for starters..there are thousands of drink combinations you can invent with the flavors they offer.
    3. Cheeseburger with mustard (formerly known as the #2 cheeseburger) and tater tots. Corn dogs – chili cheese coney with some onions on top. Add bacon and/or jalapenos to anything on the menu. How about a grilled cheese sandwich? Add some bacon and tomato to it? No problem. Sonic is special order city.

    Howzat for a commercial? hahaha