MARYSVILLE – That traffic mess that stalled drivers last week near 116th Street NE and State Avenue wasn’t a lengthy train or fender-bender.
It was the grand opening of the long-awaited Sonic Drive-In. The celebration backed up traffic in all directions as lines of hungry motorists spilled out onto 116th, waiting for up to a half hour to pick up food to go, or to pull into one of the circa-1950’s-style drive-in stalls.
Police Chief Rick Smith said that he went on the opening day and decided to wait until later because of the long lines.
“They’ll have to wait a week to get my business,” he said.
The Marysville location at 3806 116th St. is the Oklahoma City-based chain’s 17th restaurant in the state and its first in Snohomish County.
The restaurant was so packed inside and out that some guests parked across 116th in the Winco and Rite Aid parking lots and walked over. The Arby’s next door that opened last year didn’t do too badly with the added traffic either.
Sonic recreates the feel of old drive-ins with customers parking in their own stalls and pushing a red button on the menu board to place orders. They were assisted and waited on by miked-up servers skating around the parking lot delivering orders to car windows.
The Sonic chain is known for its Footlong Chili Cheese Coney and other hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and wraps, breakfast items, and creative soft drink and slushy combos.
Sonic is the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants with more than 3,500.