Sonic Drive-In restaurant chain plans first Maui location in Kahului

Sonic’s new location near Hoʻokele Street in Kahului is announced Monday. PC: Kehaulani Cerizo

Sonic Drive-In, one of the nation’s largest drive-in restaurant chains, plans to open a location in Kahului.

Hoʻokele’s new location is advertised with several Sonic banners that say “Maui First Coming Soon”, near a 1,999 square foot site advertised by owner Alexander & Baldwin as a future building space.

Known for his use of carhops on roller skates, Sonic offers burgers, fries, hot dogs, granitas, milkshakes, soft drinks, combos and desserts. It’s the largest drive-thru brand in the United States with more than 3,600 restaurants, according to its website.

The A&B-owned Ho’okele Mall, located at 1090 Hoʻokele St., is anchored by a 57,000 square foot Safeway grocery store and Safeway gas station. The center also contains Sleep Number, as well as the future Taco Bell restaurant with drive-thru.

The trade name “Sonic Drive-In Hawaii” was registered with the state on January 7 of this year.


Sonic Drive-In announced a new franchise development deal for Hawaiʻi in 2016, marking the brand’s first offshore expansion and entry into its 46th U.S. state, according to a press release.


Next, the new group of Sonic franchisees, North Shore Provisions LLC, planned to develop seven Sonic Drive-Ins in Hawaiʻi, with the first to open in Oʻahu in 2018.

However, Sonic’s website has yet to list any locations in Hawai’i. A request for comment was not immediately returned by Sonic Corp.

Founded in 1953, Sonic is based in Oklahoma City. It is part of the Inspire Brands family of restaurants, which includes Arby’s. Baskin Robbins, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John’s Sandwiches and Rusty Taco.

A menu is shown for Sonic Drive-In, a fast food restaurant chain located in over 40 US states. PC: Sonic Corp.

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