On Nov. 1, a new Sonic is set to open on the corner of Benton Ave. and Race Ave., replacing the current Sonic on Race.
Greg Rowden is the owner of all three Searcy Sonics, along with 26 other locations across Arkansas. Rowden bought the Sonic on Race Ave., his first location, in 1990. Rowden said the company has always felt restricted on space at the original location and are looking forward to the expansion to accommodate the amount of business they bring in. He purchased the lot previously owned by Wendy’s and the car washes located toward the back of the property. The new location will add 30 feet of additional patio space and 12 additional ordering stations, almost doubling the size of the current location.
“Sonic is a pretty big deal around Harding, so I think having a bigger one that will provide for our needs will be a very, very good thing,” junior Hayden Wagner said. “It will be especially fun to have more room and more seating for all of the students that will go after beauxing and queening.”
Concrete slabs for the foundation have already been laid, and Rowden says the community can expect to see walls going up within the next few weeks.
“The opening date for now is Nov. 1,” Rowden said. “But any time you’re doing construction, you’re at the mercy of God as far as the weather is concerned.”
Gene Morris, supervising partner for all Searcy and Bald Knob locations, said he hopes they have the location open by Halloween in order to ensure maximum space for 50 cent corndog day.
With the expansion, Rowden and Morris are hoping to hire approximately 40-50 new employees.
“Some of our best employees are Harding students,” Morris said. “We get some as freshmen, and we see them graduate. It’s been neat because every year they come back, we hold their jobs for them. If they start with us, they will always have that job if they want it.”
Morris posted job opportunities on Pipeline at the beginning of the school year and has already received several applications.
“We love giving our people opportunities to grow and do something within Sonic,” Morris said. “That’s one of the things that we’re really excited about.”