Sonic Drive-In, out of Oklahoma, is moving into our area and a Google News search shows that the chain is expanding rapidly around the country. I made these photos a couple of days before the roller-skating car hops strapped ‘em on. According to a report in the local paper, the new manager says the hops will roll right through the Wisconsin winter. (I must admit to wondering if that is really a good idea.)
While drive-throughs have proliferated, the appeal of eating in your car - while it is parked - seemed all but dead for the last couple of decades, with a few Mom and Pops keeping the tradition alive. While Sonics do have drive-throughs, clearly the thing to do is eat while parked.
I remember well my family’s rare trips to the A&W down the highway, and how cool it was to eat in the car. Of course to us, having a mug of “pop” (as we called it in Michigan) was a pretty big deal in and of itself.
Sonic tries very hard to create a stylized version of 1950s-era ambiance on their grounds, and cops a zany attitude towards county fair-style fast food. It all seems a little forced to me, but then I find corn dogs to be imminently resistible.
The smell of fresh asphalt baking in the sun, the brand-spanking newness of the glossy red and yellow plastic, and the garish food imagery really didn't stir my appetite, but my eyes were more than satisfied.
Born in Detroit.
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