Sonic looking to build Minden restaurant


Sonic looking to build Minden restaurant

by Joey Crandall,

sonic burger logoIt’s been a 14-year journey, but the owner of Northern Nevada’s Sonic Drive-In restaurants is hoping to finally plant a restaurant where he’d first intended.

Mark Cain, who owns Sonic locations in Carson City, Reno, Spanish Springs and Fallon, is looking to expand into Minden.

Image via Google Maps
Image via Google Maps

The proposed site is the vacant lot on Highway 395 across from Lucerne Drive and between Bank of America and Nevada State Bank. Cain acquired the property on Dec. 31, 2013.

“Minden is where we wanted to go first,” Cain said. “I wanted to move to Carson Valley when we first came to the area 14 years ago. It just didn’t work out at the time.”

The Minden Town Board will hear a design review for the proposed restaurant at an upcoming board meeting, as will the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

“There are a couple steps we still need to get past, but we’re very optimistic about this,” Cain said. “We’d love to say right now that we’re going to open on a set date. But we’re very comfortable saying that we plan to open a Sonic in Minden.”

Sonic would become to the first national fast food brand to be added to the downtown Minden-Gardnerville corridor in 14 years, since Subway was built in Minden in 2000.

It was around the same time that Cain was eyeing a parcel of property located approximately where Subway’s new location sits on the north side of town next to the AM/PM Gas Station.

“The talk at the time, Safeway was trying to build a grocery store right there where they have Maverik gas station and the Tractor Supply store now,” Cain said. “We were real close, but it just never came to fruition. We built in Carson and Fallon instead and later acquired the store in Reno.”

Several brand-name franchise restaurants have also opened in the North County shopping district on the border of Carson and Douglas in the time since, but no new brands have been introduced in town.

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“We have the four stores, and we would love for Minden to be our fifth,” Cain said. “We love the people in the community and we love the community itself.”

Cain added that his plan is to get the new restaurant involved in community efforts and with the local schools.

“Small towns are Sonic’s foundation,” he said. “It started in small town Oklahoma and spread from there. It’s in our roots to help build community.”

Sonic is the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chain, featuring roller-skating food servers and push-button ordering.

According to the Sonic Web site, the restaurant chain’s history dates back to 1953 with a small root beer stand called Top Hat in Shawnee, Oklahoma. In 1959, after successfully operating a handful of Top Hat locations, Troy Smith and Charles re-named the existing locations “Sonic” to match their slogan, “Service at the Speed of Sound.”

There are now more than 3,500 Sonic locations in 44 states.


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