The Waukesha Sonic has closed but could reopen soon under new ownership.
News of the closure comes just weeks after another Sonic location, in Oak Creek, shuttered. In that case, signs around the restaurant said the company had lost its lease on the building, and Oak Creek city officials were informed that a Burger King franchisee was interested in taking over the property. No such signs or alternative uses were immediately apparent Aug. 30 concerning the Waukesha location, 2208 E. Moreland Blvd.
In a statement, Drew Ritger, Sonic's senior vice president of development, said the Waukesha drive-in closed recently for renovations and staff training following a change in ownership.
"The new franchisee is working on a few facility improvements and focusing on crew training while the location is closed in anticipation of reopening in the near future," Ritger said. "Sonic greatly values the patience of the Waukesha community during this short closure, and looks forward to serving great food, drinks and desserts again soon.”
A reopening date was not specified.
Doors on the building were locked, menus were removed from all the individually serviced parking spaces, and from a large sign near an outdoor seating area and orange-and-white striped barricades barred access to the restaurant's drive-thru. Some windows on the west side of the building appeared to be covered with a black plastic sheet.
A driver slowly rolled through the parking lot, perhaps hoping to pick up some food or a drink for his commute, but left once he noticed the restaurant was vacant.
Sonic, an Oklahoma-based company, has roughly 3,500 drive-ins in 45 states, according to the company's website. The Sonic at 27th Street in Greenfield and along Miller Park Way remain open, as does a location in Madison.
When Sonic sought space in Waukesha eight years ago, the owner also considered a location in the Shoppes at Fox River along Sunset Drive, but the proposal faded in the face of opposition from residential neighbors across the street. The Moreland site, near the Westbrooke Shopping Center, was eventually selected.