A new Sonic Drive-In, complete with an outdoor volleyball court and playground enclosure, will be built in place of the closed Grover’s Smokehouse and Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts on S.W. Huntoon and Gage Blvd.
Demolition hasn’t started on the buildings yet, and city planner Michael Hall said Sonic franchisee D.L. Rogers Corp. has just gone through the preliminary site plan review process. Grover’s, which had been serving the Topeka community for about 40 years, closed in July 2015. Jo-Ann Fabrics closed in 2012, and the company consolidated its two Topeka locations to a new store at 1133 S.W. Wanamaker.
The plans submitted show a Sonic restaurant similar to those located on US-24 highway or at 5922 S.W. 21st St., Hall said. It includes a drive-through, and contrary to rumors, the playground and volleyball court won’t be indoors but will have the standard Sonic configuration with an enclosed play area.
A representative for D.L. Rogers Corp., a Dallas-Fort Worth area company, said the restaurant is slated to open this year. He also confirmed that when the new store opens, the franchisee will close the location currently at 1151 S.W. Gage Blvd.
Hall said the site location on the plans is about 64,700 square feet in size.
D.L. Rogers Corp. operates 210 stores across the country and is ranked 35th on the 2015 Mega 99 ranking of the largest multi-unit franchisees in the country, done by Franchise Update Media: http://www.franchising.com/multiunitfranchisees/mega99.html.
According to a Shawnee County property records search, D.L. Rogers Corp. owns six Sonic restaurants in Topeka.
Sonic Corp. trades on NASDAQ as SONC. The stock, as of 10:41 a.m. Wednesday, was at $30.19. According to NASDAQ, at the end of its fiscal year in August 2015, the company owned 3,126 restaurants in 44 states. Of those, the corporation owned and operated 387 stores and the remainder are operated by franchisees.