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Final Plans Approved for University Avenue Sonic

By Alyssa Schnugg
News Editor

The owner of the Sonic fast-food restaurant being rebuilt on University Avenue jumped over the final hurdle before starting construction Monday.

Rendering of the future Sonic on University Avenue.

Since the restaurant will be less than 5,000-square feet in size, the plans officially gained administrative approval by planning staff in October.

However, the project was presented Monday before the Oxford Planning Commission for a public hearing to give the public a chance to make any comments or express concerns about the project.

No one spoke up in objection to the project.

The old Sonic building was torn down in September as local residents lamented the destruction of the popular fast-food chain that was built in 1974.

The Sonic on University Avenue was torn down in September to make room for a “new-old” Sonic.
Photo by Jim Roberts

But the empty lot will soon be replaced with a “new” old Sonic that is being redesigned to a more modern restaurant while keeping much of the nostalgic feel of the former building.

The restaurant will have charcoal colored brick massing with red trim, canopy awnings, an LED lighting border and halo channel lettering on the sign that will retain the historic Sonic lettering. On top of the roof will be a tower with an antenna-like finial on top to play on the word “Sonic.”

The parking lot will go around the entire building—not just the sides and back like the former building—so customers can drive around again looking for an open spot without having to drive back into traffic.

At the September Planning Commission meeting, the applicant was granted a variance from the front yard build-to line standard in for the Historic Urban Center district to allow the building to be further back on the site to accommodate a drive in front of the building that facilitates reentry to the site without exiting on to University Avenue.

The proposed drive-in restaurant will accommodate 29 ordering bays and it will contain a covered outdoor patio area for patrons.

Previously, commercial business less than 10,000-square feet did not need to go before the Planning Commission; however, that was changed to 5,000-square feet earlier this year.

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