Plan to Demolish Abandoned Sonic on Rt 9 and Build New Business
An abandoned Sonic that's been sitting in disrepair on Route 9 in Wappingers is finally getting some attention.
When Sonic opened in the Hudson Valley it was greeted with much fanfare. Locations in Kingston and Wappingers Falls were slammed with customers who couldn't wait to get their hands on those tater tots, burgers and slushes
The unique drive-up restaurant didn't have a dining room. Instead, customers would order at the window and then park in Sonic's car bay to have their order brought out by a carhop. Eating like you were in an episode of Happy Days was fun for a while, but soon customers decided that getting ketchup all over their steering wheel wasn't as glamour as it looked on TV.
Within a few years, both locations shut down and have sat vacant ever since. The Route 9 location did have a brief moment of glory in 2019 when it was briefly remodeled to resemble a 1970s McDonald's restaurant. The temporary change was made by HBO for its Miniseries, I Know This Much is True, which was filmed over the summer at various locations throughout the Hudson Valley.
After the filming, the temporary changes were removed and Sonic began to fall into further disrepair. Today, the restaurant is nothing more than an eyesore that sits empty on Route 9. The depressing sight of a decomposing building isn't something that residents or local businesses want to see in the Town of Wappinger.
Thankfully, it looks like the dilapidated old Sonic is getting some attention. A proposal to replace the building with a new business is being presented at the October 18 Town of Wappinger Planning Board meeting.
Paperwork has been filed proposing a project to tear down the empty restaurant and replace it with a 3,057-square-foot Jiffy Lube. The oil change business would completely demolish the existing site and replace it with new drive aisles, parking, signage, landscaping, and a dumpster area enclosure.
Developers say that the Jiffy Lube would be a good use of the property because it wouldn't infringe on parking in surrounding lots, nor would it increase traffic in the busy shopping plaza. According to the documents, Jiffy Lube isn't expected to draw more cars than Sonic did, even during peak weekend hours.
The proposal will be presented on October 18 to the planning board. It's unclear when construction would begin if the plan makes it through the application process.
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