2 local Sonic Drive-In restaurants abruptly shut down; all others under new franchise ownership

All Dayton-area Sonic Drive-Ins have new franchise ownership as of Feb. 25, but only six of the eight local Sonic restaurants survived the transition.

A spokesman for Oklahoma City-based Sonic confirmed to this news outlet late Sunday night that two local Sonics have shut down permanently as a result of the franchisee transaction: The stores that closed are at 7711 Hoke Road in Clayton and 4534 Brandt Pike in Dayton.

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The Sonic location farther north on Brandt Pike in Huber Heights is among the six restaurants that reopened Feb. 25, including stores in Springfield, Beavercreek, Kettering, West Carrolton and Xenia, the Sonic spokesman said in an email. All of those remaining restaurants closed early on Sunday — the Beavercreek store on Colonel Glenn Highway was vacant and closed as of late afternoon, and others closed in the early evening —to accommodate the transition of inventory and data.

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The remaining Sonic locations will be operated by SRI Operating Company, an affiliate of Sonic’s corporate parent and operator of Sonic Drive-Ins across the nation.

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Sonic officials did not identify the previous franchisee, but this news outlet reported in 2014 that all local Sonics had been taken over by Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Houchens Industries. Reached by phone Sunday afternoon, the operations manager for Houchens declined to comment.

Credit: Mark Fisher

Credit: Mark Fisher

Houchens itself had shut down three restaurants — in Troy, Greenville and Sidney — when it took over the operations of Dayton-area stores in 2014.

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A similar pattern emerged over the weekend in central Ohio, where two Sonic stores shut down as part of the franchise transition to SRI Operating Company, the Sonic spokesman said.

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We will update this story with any new developments.

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