Sonic employee Amy Hemstead was busy welcoming customers through the drive-thru on Monday with a smile and opening-day coupons. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Sonic employee Amy Hemstead was busy welcoming customers through the drive-thru on Monday with a smile and opening-day coupons. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Hungry Kent welcomes opening of Sonic Drive-In

New location on East Hill represents the 18th Sonic in the state, ninth regionally

For Kent’s Tammy Fort, it was worth the wait.

Hungry customers welcomed the opening of the new Sonic Drive-In on a sun-splashed Monday at the northeast corner of 116th Avenue Southeast and KentKangley Road.

Fort and her family were the first in line at 9:25 a.m., 35 minutes before the doors officially opened.

“It’s great,” she said after enjoying a jalapeno-loaded supersonic breakfast burrito. “We always go to one in Texas, so we were excited when they opened one here. … We just got out of school, so it was on our summer bucket list.”

Other customers trickled in, then a steady line formed in the drive-thru and the classic outdoor-service stalls were filled. By the noon hour, the restaurant was jammed.

“Once the word of mouth gets around, it’s going to pick up in the evening,” said Jake Nelson, who co-owns and operates the restaurant with Jasmin Patel.

So far, as Patel noted, all was going well with the steady stream of customers.

Sonic observes a limited schedule for its Monday opening – from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. – and then kicks in a full schedule starting July 1 with hours of 7 a.m. to midnight, said Rune Harkestad, vice president of Kidder Mathews, a commercial real estate firm in Bellevue.

The new location on East Hill represents the 18th Sonic in the state and the ninth in the greater Puget Sound region.

The Kent Sonic hired 95 part- and full-time jobs, according to Nelson.

Sonic started in 1953 in Oklahoma and has more than 3,500 locations in 45 states. It serves about 3 million customers daily and features carhops at many locations. Sonic is known by many for its funny television commercials featuring two guys sitting in a car at the drive-thru talking about their orders.

Kent will get another highly anticipated burger spot in October when Dick’s Drive-In is scheduled to open on the West Hill at 24200 Pacific Highway S.

Sonic Drive-In employees Rachael Townsend, left, and Amy Hemstead stand ready as customers fill the drive-thru lane at Kent’s new Sonic restaurant on Monday. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

Sonic Drive-In employees Rachael Townsend, left, and Amy Hemstead stand ready as customers fill the drive-thru lane at Kent’s new Sonic restaurant on Monday. MARK KLAAS, Kent Reporter

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