The day has finally come.
Sonic Drive-In will be looking for zoning relief for several restrictions at Wednesday’s Town of Hempstead Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA) meeting at 2 p.m..
According to the Town of Hempstead, Sonic is seeking special exceptions to install a drive-thru window and use a portion of the premise for outdoor dinning, as well as variances for off-street parking. Additionally, they want to be permitted to installed 24 menu board signs under two proposed canopies, install a drive-thru preview menu and regular menu board, and install a speaker and confirmation screen system for the drive-thru.
The burger restaurant has been a topic of hot debate within the East Meadow community and beyond since news surfaced that it could be making the former Rita’s Italian Ice location its new home. Some residents felt that it would increase traffic and safety issues, while others believed that it would have a positive influence in the community and provide needed jobs.
The East Meadow location would be the first of its kind in Nassau County, and second island-wide to the Deer Park Avenue site in North Babylon.
After speculation of the fast-food restaurant’s arrival at a in November, it was with the BZA in December by the Town of Hempstead. The meeting was then originally slated for Jan. 11 and then again on Jan. 25, but was adjourned and postponed to Wednesday’s hearing.
Local businesses had a mixed response to the fast-food giant coming to town. owner Solomon, who asked to not identify his last name, previously told Patch that he thinks traffic will “be a huge nightmare” and that it will create a large problem on Hempstead Turnpike.
“The parking lot right now already has some problems, especially with the flooding,” he added. “The parking is not going to pretty.”
“It will definitely bring more people into the area,” Marcia Krinick, owner of , said. “To me, it can only help right now.”
have been churning since the Long Island Press published an article in July 2010 saying that Sonic was scouting new restaurant sites in Massapequa, Smithtown and East Meadow. In January of 2010, Sonic representative Becky Rickard had told Patch that they didn’t “have anything planned or in the works for East Meadow.”
A popular chain among fast-food fans, Sonic boosts curbside ordering and carhops on roller skates, who bring food right to patrons' car windows. They are also well known for special add-ons including chili, tater tots and other regional items.
Do you think Sonic would be a positive addition to East Meadow? Tell us in the comments.