Business

Sonic drive-in reopening


Published: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, January 26, 2011 at 10:03 p.m.

At least one Sonic drive-in is reopening and a new barbecue joint is opening across from the University of Florida campus.

The Sonic at 2162 NW 39th Ave. is being remodeled to reopen sometime during the first week in February, according to property owner Rod Marques of Ohio.

Three area Sonics — two in Gainesville and one in Alachua — closed in July 2008 because the Oklahoma franchisee went bankrupt, Marques said.

Marques did not know the status of the 1910 N. Main St. location. The city granted a permit for some work on the building in November, but the work hasn't started.

The new franchisee and a company spokesperson did not return calls for comment.

A Taco Bell opened last year in the former site in Alachua.

Brothers Steven and Darren Kay, owners of Designer Greens salad and sandwich restaurants in Gainesville and Orlando, are opening Kay Bros. BBQ in the beginning or middle of February at 1620 W. University Ave.

The Kay brothers' first jobs were at Roger's Real Pit Barbecue in Seminole. Steven Kay said this introduced them to the working world and to barbecue, and it influenced their decision to make their new restaurant a barbecue joint.

He said barbecue better represents their food choices.

"I'm a meat eater," Steven said. "I'm not much of a salad eater, even though I opened Designer Greens."

Kay Bros. BBQ will be a quick-service restaurant — customers order at the counter and sit down to wait for their food. A self-service barbecue sauce bar will have eight different sauces representing flavors found around the country, including a sweet Kansas City sauce, a more vinegar and tomato-based Texas sauce and a traditional Memphis sauce.

Andrea Rumbaugh is a Gainesville Sun correspondent.

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