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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