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Sonic Drive-In

215 N Main St, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74075 USA

32 Reviews
$
Budget
Open Now
Thu 6a-12a
  • Chain
  • Credit Cards
    Accepted
  • Wheelchair
    Accessible
  • Public
    Restrooms
  • Outdoor
    Seating
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Learn more about this business on Yelp.

“The first Sonic location”

Following World War II, Troy N. Smith Sr., Sonic's founder, returned to his hometown of Seminole, Oklahoma, where he became employed as a milkman. He decided to work delivering bread because bread was not as heavy as milk. Soon afterwards, Smith purchased the Cottage Cafe, a little diner in Shawnee, Oklahoma. Before long he sold it and opened a fast food restaurant, Troy's Pan Full of Chicken, on the edge of town. In 1953, Smith went in with a business partner to purchase a five-acre parcel of land that had a log house and a walk-up root beer stand, already named the Top Hat. The two men continued with the operation of the root beer stand and converted the log house into a steak restaurant. After realizing that the stand was averaging $700 a week in the sale of root beer, hamburgers and hot dogs, Smith decided to focus on the more-profitable root beer stand. He also bought out his business partner. Originally, Top Hat customers would park their automobiles anywhere on the gravel parking lot and walk up to place their orders. However, on a trip to Louisiana, Smith saw a drive-in that used speakers for ordering. He suspected that he could increase his sales by controlling the parking and having the customers order from speakers at their cars, with carhops delivering the food to the cars. Smith borrowed several automobiles from a friend who owned a used-car lot to establish a layout for controlled parking. He also had some so-called "jukebox boys" come in and wire an intercom system in the parking lot. Sales immediately tripled. Charles Woodrow Pappe, an entrepreneur, chanced upon the Shawnee drive-in and was very impressed. He and Smith negotiated the first franchise location in Woodward, Oklahoma, in 1956, based on nothing more than a handshake. By 1958, two more drive-ins were built, in Enid and Stillwater. Sonic Drive-In neon sign at the Oklahoma History Center. Upon learning that the Top Hat name was already trademarked, Smith and Pappe changed the name to Sonic in 1959. The new name worked with their existing slogan, "Service with the Speed of Sound". After the name change, the first Sonic sign was installed at the Stillwater Top-Hat Drive-In; the original sign still can be seen there. Although Smith and Pappe were being asked to help open new franchise locations, there was no real royalty plan in place. The pair decided to have their paper company charge an extra penny for each Sonic-label hamburger bag it sold. The proceeds would then be split between Smith and Pappe. The first franchise contracts under this plan were drawn up, but there was still no joint marketing plan, standardized menu, or detailed operating requirements

Read More >
Photo of Taylor R.

Reviewed by
Taylor R.

Since they rebuilt, I have had nothing but good experiences here!! One that really stands out happened tonight, with Dennis, who works overnights. The store was out of cake for the birthday cake... Read more

Photo of Lauren M.

Reviewed by
Lauren M.

I'm not a frequent customer of Sonic, but I do visit this location when I'm in the mood for it. After this experience, however, I can't see myself returning for a very long time. I stopped by... Read more

Photo of Kathryn P.

Reviewed by
Kathryn P.

Have tried this sonic multiple times to see if I just caught them on a bad day. After 3 times, its the place. Strawberry water has 2 pieces of strawberry in it and no strawberry flavor. Shakes are... Read more

Sonic Drive-In

215 N Main St
Stillwater, Oklahoma
74075 USA
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Hours

Open now until 12:00 am
  • Sun: 8:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Mon - Fri: 6:00 am - 12:00 am
  • Sat: 7:00 am - 12:00 am

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  • Check
    Parking
  • Unavailable
    Pets Allowed
  • Check
    Restrooms
  • Unavailable
    Wifi
  • Check
    Wheelchair Accessible
  • Check
    Credit Cards Accepted
Reservations
Does not take
  • Check
    Lunch
  • Check
    Dinner
  • Unavailable
    Drinks
  • Check
    Breakfast
  • Check
    Drive Through
  • Check
    Outdoor Seating
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Parking, Dining

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