***UPDATE (Monday, Feb. 25)***
There were developments overnight in this story. Please click on the link below for the latest information.
*** ORIGINAL STORY (Sunday, Feb. 24)***
Some Dayton-area Sonic Drive-In restaurants were not open for regular business hours Sunday afternoon while others posted notices that they would close early Sunday night but reopen Monday.
The irregular hours of Dayton-area Sonics came amid a change of franchisees and two confirmed Sonic store closings in the Columbus area, but it was not clear Sunday night whether there was any connection between the developments in central Ohio and the Dayton-area stores’ temporary or early closures, according to a Sonic corporate spokesman.
Family members of Sonic employees who work at the Clayton location at 7711 Hoke Road said on a community Facebook page that employees there had been told the restaurant was shutting down permanently. An employee of a nearby Sonic at 7788 Brandt Pike in Huber Heights also said the Hoke Road/Clayton location was shutting down for good. But employees of that Huber Heights store, as well as employees of stores in Kettering, West Carrollton and Xenia, told this news outlet they were closing early today, at 7 p.m. instead of 10 p.m., but would reopen for regular business hours tomorrow, Monday Feb. 25.
Meanwhile, the Sonic restaurant at 3970 Colonel Glenn Highway in Beavercreek was empty at 4 p.m. Sunday afternoon, and a sign on the drive-through menu and window told customers, “Sorry for the inconvenience, (we’re) now temporarily closed.”
The operations director for Bowling Green, Kentucky-based Houchens Industries, which has been the franchisee of Sonic Drive-In locations in the Dayton region, declined to comment when he was reached by phone Sunday afternoon.
A spokesman for Sonic corporate in Oklahoma said Sunday night that he was aware of a change of franchise ownership for at least eight stores in the Columbus-area market that will take full effect Monday, Feb. 25, and he said two stores in Columbus had closed over the weekend. The spokesman said he was checking on the reports involving Dayton-area Sonic restaurants.
We will update this story with any new developments.