New Sonic coming to downtown Baton Rouge; neighbors are not happy
BATON ROUGE- A local franchise will open a small drive-thru Sonic restaurant just three blocks from McDonald's at 10th Street and Government. The site is currently a green space that seems like a perfect location except to the people who will live next to it.
"This corner is one of the busiest that we have at the entrance to downtown and our neighborhood," said Jeff Kuehny president of the Beauregard Town Association. "This is a major thruway to get on the I-10 ramp."
Kuehny is also concerned about more people hanging out in the neighborhood especially late at night. He said the McDonald's down the street is a perfect example.
"McDonald's did some nice landscaping but it's also one of the biggest draws of vagrants in the neighborhood and it has a litter problem that is caused by these drive-thru places."
The area is zoned properly and is not in a historic district so there won't be any public hearings. An excavator was moved on site Wednesday to tear down an old house, construction on the restaurant will take three months.
The restuarant's owner did not agree to an interview but metro-councilwoman Tara Wicker who represents the area said "meeting the needs of residents and commercial development is a delicate balance."
Kuehny said he's working with Wicker and his neighbors to rezone parts of Beauregard Town so they don't get any more surprise fast food restaurants.
According to the plans the restaurant will be 2,200 square feet with a drive-thru and some inside seating but it will not have the drive-in service common to the franchise.
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