Sonic blasts into town
With the addition of a Sonic Drive-In in De Soto, residents and students from the nearby high school have another option for meals and snacks.
The drive-in officially opened June 4 1:30 p.m. The official ribbon-cutting ceremony was 10 a.m., Friday.
De Soto Mayor Dave Anderson was present at the ceremony and expressed his support of the new business in town.
"People are excited about Sonic being close to the high school," Anderson said. "This is a business that our community requires. It makes the community well-rounded."
The idea of bringing a Sonic to De Soto began last year when members of the Paola-based Briley Group, owners of 30 area Sonic Drive-Ins, saw De Soto as a viable site.
Operational Partner Mike Madsen of the Briley Group said the high school was an important factor in Sonic's location.
"We wanted to be close to the high school," Madsen said. "It is an avenue for the school to use as a fundraiser. We are deeply committed to our communities."
Ian Cairns, another Briley group operational manager, said De Soto city officials were positive about the opportunity to have a Sonic franchise in town. The De Soto Sonic is a standard-sized drive-in with 26 stalls, according to Cairns.
"Some of the cities we've dealt with in the past weren't as easy to work with as De Soto," Cairns said. "Sonic is in Tonganoxie, Baldwin and on K7 (Highway), so it made sense to come to De Soto. We expect to draw from the town and not as much from the (K10) highway."
Sonic Manager Chris Lowry, Fort Scott native, has worked at Sonic locations in Baldwin and Overland Park. Lowry said he is pleased to return to a small-town environment and serve as the new location's manager.
"I'm happy to get back to a small town," Lowry said. "I think the Sonic will have a positive impact and give (students) somewhere close to eat."