Sonic Drive-In Project will Not Move Forward in Natomas

THE NATOMAS BUZZ | @natomasbuzz

Plans for a Sonic Drive-In in Natomas have stalled — for the second time.

According to public records, the application for the planned eatery on Northgate Boulevard adjacent to Interstate 80 expired in October 2022. Records also show paperwork was submitted to renew the application and while that extension was granted, city building staff have confirmed it expired last month in February 2023.

“We are not moving forward,” applicant and Elite Business Enterprises Inc. CEO Sandy Mann wrote in an email to The Natomas Buzz this week.

Image of unfinished building construction as seen through a chain link fence.

The unfinished Sonic Drive-In building was demolished after five years in 2011. / file photo

Elite Business Enterprises Inc. develops, owns and operates quick-service restaurants, sit-down restaurants and gas stations in California and Idaho. Its portfolio of brands, owned by subsidiary companies, include Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Black Bear Diner, Sonic Drive-Ins, and Twin Peaks Restaurant as well as ARCO gas stations with AM/PM convenience stores.

Plans for the project had been approved by Sacramento planning staff in May 2021. The restaurant had been slated for a vacant lot on the 3800 block of Northgate Boulevard across from McDonald’s.

This is the second Sonic Drive-In project to stall in Natomas.

A Sonic Drive-In and TGI Fridays had been slated to open on the corner of Truxel Road and Gateway Park in 2006. But work on that project stopped in 2008 when Roseville-based Kobra Properties ran into money troubles. Partially constructed buildings were razed in 2011 and the site sat empty until Nation’s Giant Hamburgers acquired it.

Northern view of the Sonic restaurant which was to be built at 3801 Northgate Boulevard.

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