Sonic to open first location in Manhattan

Fast-food chain will open at 966 Sixth Avenue

966 6th Avenue (Google Maps, iStock)
966 6th Avenue (Google Maps, iStock)

UPDATED March 10, 2020, 1:10 pm: Sonic, founded in 1953 in Oklahoma as Sonic Drive-In, will try to make it in New York.

The fast-food chain is opening its first location in Manhattan at 966 Sixth Avenue, between West 35th and West 36th streets. Sonic will take 5,400 square feet over three levels, replacing a closed Pax Wholesome Foods at the Midtown location.

Booth Advisors represented Sonic in the deal and Craig Slosberg of Newmark Knight Frank represented the landlord, Metropolitan Impex. Other details on the lease were not available.

Sonic’s only other New York City location is on Staten Island. It has 17 restaurants statewide.

A Sonic representative said that the location will likely open in the second half of 2022.

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Fast-food restaurants have done well in the pandemic. They paid 92 percent of their rent in the month of January, according to a report by Datex Property Solutions.

Drive-thrus have been especially popular, gaining attention from real estate investors. A drive-thru lane can increase the value of a property, adding 10 percent to 20 percent to the rent. The Sixth Avenue location does not allow for a drive-thru, however.

Sonic plans to expand rapidly in the coming years. The chain, which already has more than 3,000 locations across 46 states, aims to open 1,000 more in the next 10 years.

Sonic is owned by Inspire Brands, which also owns Arby’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Correction: Sonic’s first location in New York City was on Staten Island. The Manhattan eatery will be its second in the five boroughs.