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Sonic to open in East Meadow after six years of opposition

A third Sonic, opening Monday, May 22, 2017,

A third Sonic, opening Monday, May 22, 2017, in East Meadow will join the chain's North Babylon and Valley Stream locations. Credit: James Carbone

The skates are set to roll Monday morning in East Meadow — finally.

The latest Long Island location of the Sonic Drive-In chain is set to open for breakfast after an 8:45 a.m. ribbon cutting, ending a six-year saga to bring the 1950s-style eatery to the Nassau County hamlet.

That makes three Sonics on Long Island and comes three months after local franchisee Spencer Hart and his team, which has exclusive rights to all locations on the Island, opened a Sonic near Green Acres Mall in Valley Stream.

The first Long Island location of the Oklahoma City-based chain, known for roller-skating servers delivering food to customers’ cars, opened in North Babylon in 2011. Plans are also in the works for two more locations in Nesconset and Riverhead.

The launch of the first Sonic on the Island was met with long lines and traffic jams along Deer Park Avenue that lasted for weeks, which in part led to the opposition initially in East Meadow. It’s been a six-year process getting to the East Meadow opening.

Plans for the East Meadow location were unanimously rejected in 2012 after a number of residents expressed concerns about traffic, parking and the restaurant’s proximity to bars.

The franchisees kept searching and ended up taking over the old Burger King at 1724 Hempstead Tpke., about a half-mile from the original location they had sought.

“We think East Meadow is a great town to be in, and we kept looking around and found that the lease was up for this Burger King,” said Bob Fanelli, the chief operating officer of the franchise group. “Everything is a process. We are a little different, because we have a drive in and not just a drive thru.”

The space will have 22 drive-in slots, the same number as the other two Sonic locations on the Island, but is the first location with sit-down dining, including 62 seats in the indoor dining room and 32 seats on a patio outside.

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