First on 10: Sonic to open drive-thru in Warwick


A new restaurant is coming to Bald Hill Road in Warwick.

The drive-thru fast food chain, Sonic, which is known for its burgers and milkshakes, and retro drive-in, is opening its second store in Rhode Island.

The site has sat vacant for more than 10 years. The property owner said the building has been a challenge because it’s on a ledge.

Across the street, the manager of Haxton Liquors is happy to see another business coming to Route 2.

“It’s been an eyesore the last few years, but it’s good to see somebody finally taking over,” Kevin Haxton told NBC 10 News Tuesday.

But building on the heavily trafficked area hasn’t been easy.

“The site itself, as you can see, has a lot of ledge so our contractor had to a lot of dynamiting,” Sonic Franchise Owner Chris Stack said. “The other big challenge is it has no sewer.”

The state’s first store opened in Smithfield in 2015. Locals still remember driving by there, as well as traffic the new location caused.

“There were some traffic problems in Smithfield,” Joe Judge of Glocester said. “I think it was probably a lack of planning in the beginning.

But the franchise owner of the Warwick restaurant doesn’t anticipate any traffic trouble along Route 2.

“We have a center turning lane here, which is great,” Stack said. “Not every Bald Hill road location has that. People in the northeast, they’re comfortable in the center turning lane.”

Those who shop, eat and work along Route 2 told NBC 10 they’re happy to see another business in the area.

“I think that’s a very good thing. It’s a very popular destination. It’s a busy street,” Joe Judge said.

Stack, who also has a Sonic in Somerset, said he plans to open the Warwick location in August. There will be 60 indoor seats, four outdoor tables on the patio, as well as 14 stalls where people park and order food.

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