ASHLAND Ashland has been in the forefront of one restaurant’s franchisee’s scope for half a decade.

Jacob Stauffer, of North Fork Holdings, LLC, is finally seeing his wish reach fruition. 

Sonic is coming to town.

Demolition is currently taking place between the Ben Williamson Memorial and Simeon Willis Memorial bridges on Winchester Avenue. According to Stauffer, a Sonic will be up and running by late spring or early summer of 2021. It will sit across from Starbucks and Burger King.

“It’s prime location on Winchester right between the two bridges,” Stauffer said. “We have been looking for a spot in Ashland for about five years. We kicked around several different spots, but they weren’t quite right for a variety of reasons. This one hit the market in the spring. We loved the location, so we jumped on it.”

Sonic Drive-In was founded in 1953 in Shawnee, Oklahoma. It was known as Top Hat Drive-In at the time. The menu features burgers, wraps, chicken, hot dogs, milkshakes, ice cream, breakfast items, specialty drinks and more.

For those familiar with the Sonic in Barboursville, West Virginia, the Ashland version will take on a different look. It will be one of the “new prototype” locations.

One of the latest prototypes in Tahleque, Oklahoma, for instance, consists of 18 docks for parked cars, a drive-thru, a covered outdoor patio and lawn games. The Ashland spot will offer similar features.

Stauffer is the franchisee for about 40 Sonic locations across six states, all within the Ohio Valley region, he said. He’s been involved with Sonic for around five years.

“People love the menu; there’s a lot of variety, and it’s a brand with a lot of history,” Stauffer said.

“Ashland has been our No. 1 target opportunity,” he reiterated. “It’s a wonderful town with a wonderful population. This has been a relatively smooth process despite communication challenges (during the pandemic). … We’re excited to be part of Ashland.”


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