Business

Iconic drive-in restaurant closes on Mercer University Drive

In this archive photo, Aaron Jones was a carhop at the Sonic Drive-in on Peake Road in Macon.
In this archive photo, Aaron Jones was a carhop at the Sonic Drive-in on Peake Road in Macon.

Updated Dec. 14, 2017

The Sonic Drive-In restaurant on Mercer University Drive in Macon has closed.

"Sorry, this store is permanently closed," said a note on the website for the store at 3837 Mercer University Drive. "Visit us at one of our nearby locations."

It closed on Monday and Johnny Jones, Sonic's vice president of development and construction, said in an email that customers are referred to the Sonic location at 6700 Peake Road. The website also refers to three locations in Warner Robins. The Mercer store has been open at least 15 years.

The closed restaurant employed 12 workers and two transferred to the Peake Road location, Jones said.

A prototype of the first Sonic Drive-In, when it was called Top Hat, opened in Shawnee, Oklahoma, in 1953, according to the company's corporate website. It was known as a small hamburger and root beer stand.

It "revolutionized the ordering process by using curbside speakers that allowed customers to place food orders without ever leaving their cars. In 1959, the name was changed to Sonic Drive-In. Carhops, many on roller skates, deliver orders to customers' cars.

The company now has more than 3,500 locations from coast to coast.

Telegraph writer Linda S. Morris @MidGaBiz.

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