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Dave Olson, Published February 04 2013

Boom! Sonic restaurant coming to Fargo

FARGO – Rumors have swirled for years, but it now appears a Sonic fast-food restaurant is coming to Fargo.

Abe Sakak, who is part of a development group building a Sonic in Minot, said the plan is to build one in Fargo within the next 18 months.

The group is scouting possible locations.

Sakak said over the next few years his group, RZA Ventures LLC, is looking to establish Sonic burger joints in other North Dakota locations, including Bismarck, Grand Forks, Dickinson and Williston.

He said there will likely be more than one location in the Fargo area.

The Minot Sonic now under construction is expected to open in April or May.

Sakak has an extensive background in developing restaurants, including Village Inn restaurants in Moorhead and Fargo and a group of about two dozen Applebee’s restaurants that included locations in Minot, Fargo and Fergus Falls, as well as in California and Arizona.

He recently sold his Applebee’s restaurants.

“So, I have lots of time to develop other things,” said Sakak, who opened Badlands Grill in Minot a few years ago.

He said the Badlands Grill concept – which focuses on steaks – is being refined, with an eye toward expanding it to other cities, including Fargo.

“Within 18 to 20 months, we’ll know if we can fine-tune it to the point of developing more of them,” Sakak said.

As for Sonic drive-ins, Sakak said one thing that sets them apart from other fast-food restaurants is that they offer breakfast all day.

Sonic, based in Oklahoma, has more than 3,500 restaurants in more than 40 states.

While the restaurants are typically built as drive-ins, those going up in this region will have dining rooms as a concession to the weather.

The Sonic being built in Minot, for example, will have overhead doors that can be opened to expose much of the dining room to the outdoors during warm months.

“Because of the cold climate, the concept will have more viability,” Sakak said.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555