It has been nearly a year and a half since 10 different Sonic Drive-In locations have closed their doors in the Pacific Northwest. And as far as I can tell, ALL of them are still standing as closed restaurants.

Closed Sonic Drive In Restaurant at night.
Pic courtesy of Bobby Mendoza Jr.
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Even though the lights are still on, some signage has been taken down, doors and windows have been boarded up, and because of graffiti problems, fences have been erected.

The original lawsuit that led to the closures was filed in June of 2022, alleging that franchisees owed royalties and fees up to $2 million. Their corporate headquarters gave official notice in September of the previous year in hopes a license termination could be avoided, and business could continue.

Closed Sonic Drive In Restaurant at night.
Pic courtesy of Bobby Mendoza Jr.
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Attorneys got involved in civil court, and when nothing came of it, the case was moved to federal court in May of 2022, and the rest is history. We have beautiful buildings that have remained closed and boarded up, currently in limbo.

There was hope for a new Spanish restaurant taking over the locations in Yakima and Kennewick back in May of 2023, when Google Maps had the locations labeled "Charritos Mexican Food" (noticed and screen captured by Bobby Mendoza Jr.).

Google Map above view of closed Sonic Restaurant
Google Maps/Bobby Mendoza Jr.
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Google Map above view of closed Sonic Restaurant
Google Maps/Bobby Mendoza Jr.
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But, as anyone can tell by driving by, the scene has stayed the same, and no new restaurant has gone up in those locations.

I reached out to Sonic Drive-In corporate headquarters, Inspire Brands, and have only received an automated reply from them.

Google
Google
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In answering the question that many of us who loved the tots, ice, burgers, & staff have on our minds… when will Sonic re-open? As long as the case is still in the court's hands, no time frame can be determined.

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