A Sonic Drive-In-turned-barbecue restaurant in Martinez is changing back.
Sonic will reopen at 498 Furys Ferry Road in early August under new management. The chain drive-in restaurant closed Dec. 31.
The new franchisee, Mark Irvin, operates a dozen other Sonic s across the metro Augusta area, said his daughter and marketing coordinator, Jessica Irvin.
“The rest of the Sonics have been hugely successful here,” she said.
The Martinez restaurant is the only local Sonic to feature an indoor dining room that can accommodate 50 customers. The interior space has undergone a remodeling and is completely separate from the kitchen, Irvin said.
“We’re trying to revamp what we’re about at Sonic,” she said.
The Martinez Sonic was run by Rick McMurtrey for about five years. In January, McMurtrey opened a barbecue restaurant, called Roadhouse Rib Palace, in its spot. The Rib Palace closed after just a few months.
The Furys Ferry Road Sonic differed from other local Sonics in that it didn’t have the traditional drive-in setup. Instead, it just offered customers a sit-down dining area and drive-through window.
In an effort to bring back the traditional drive-in experience offered at other Sonics, it will have nine drive-in stalls on one side of the lot, Irvin said.
“A carhop will bring out the food even if you are eating indoors,” she said.
The new restaurant will employ from 20 to 25 people.