Following a fire that shut down Spring Hill’s Sonic Drive-In, the restaurant’s owners expect to be able to re-open in about four to six weeks.
The fire started Saturday around 7 a.m. when four employees were working. Blake Haines, one of the owners of the Sonic, said the fire started from an electrical failure with the fryer.
At present, Sonic’s owners are in the process of having the building cleaned out and are trying to determine what equipment is still functional and what needs to be replaced. Haines said they have not yet determined the full extent of the damage and the financial costs incurred as a result.
An engineer has not yet come in to inspect the structural integrity of the restaurant, but Haines said they believe the building itself is salvageable for the most part, although much of the interior walls will need to be replaced.
Best case scenario, Haines said in about four weeks Sonic will be able to once again begin serving Spring Hill customers half-price happy hour drinks in the afternoons and 99-cent morning drinks.
“The community has been great,” Haines said. “They’ve been very supportive. My first thought when it happened was, ‘Was anybody hurt?’ My second thought was, ‘Are the employees taken care of?’ Third was, ‘How are we going to get back up and running so our employees can work and we can serve the community?'”
As for the employees, those who would have been out of work as a result of the fire have been given temporary employment at other Sonics around the area.
Haines said the general manager of the Spring Hill store got on the phone with other general managers to get the employees placed in other stores while the Spring Hill Sonic recovers.
With a total of 56 employees working in Spring Hill, Haines said it was a big project to find other employment opportunities for them, but he said everyone who wanted to continue working was given a job at another store for the time being.
“Our employees are taken care of, we’re not too worried now, but the people I feel bad for are the customers, the great customers we have,” Haines said. “We’re going to try to open back up as quickly as we can.”
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