Site preparation begins for Sonic

As motorists along Charles G. Seivers Boulevard watch the new building for Starbucks and Clinton’s first package store going up just west of the Buddy’s bar-b-q building, they can also now keep an eye out as work progresses on the new Sonic restaurant on the other side.

The developers of the Sonic last week began site preparation for the new drive-in restaurant, including grading and foundation work, after receiving a building permit from the city of Clinton on Sept. 14 for that part of the project.

No building permit has yet been issued for the actual structure, but the project has already received approval by the city’s Planning Department.

Starbucks obviously will be the first of the two new restaurants to open, as the Starbucks building has already been framed up and the interior is now being done. That building will also house SP’s Wine & Liquor, which will be the first package store to open in the city since voters approved them in a referendum last November.

Sonic will occupy a separate building of its own just east of the Buddy’s in the Glen Alpine shopping development near Interstate 75, Exit 122. It will include a drive-through window as well as Sonic’s signature carhop curb service, according to plans.

Starbucks will also include a drive-through lane.

Developer Andy Hillmer with Southern Commercial real estate in Knoxville said in February that he had signed a lease with the Sonic operator, and that he expected construction to begin in April or May. No completion or projected opening date has been announced yet for the Sonic.