The wheels are still in motion for an approved to skate into its opening in .
The fast-food chain and it's signature roller skating carhops can be expected to actually roll into its approved site at in June or July, according to company representatives.
In the meantime, if you're craving Sonic's burgers, fries, chicken, and shakes, you might want to take a spin south to Tinton Falls where the chain will open a new eatery and drive-in on Feb. 13.
Anthony Cirillo, of Freehold, will own the Middletown and Tinton Falls locations as a franchisee of the Oklahoma City-based restaurant chain according to reports published last week in the Eatontown-Tinton Falls Patch. Cirillo also owns an existing Sonic at Route 9 and New Friendship Road in Howell.
Cirillo could not be reached for comment for this article at press time. An employee at Sonic's Howell location indicated that he is vacationing of the area.
It's been more than a year since the application and permitting process began. Representatives of the fast food chain are still waiting for their site plan application and variances for an outdoor restaurant with patio seating, curbside carhop service and drive-in windows greenlighted by the .
Yet, the dirt under the grassy pad in front of the and stores, where the township's latest burger joint is to be built, remains void of unearthing shovels or tractors to break ground.
That's because officials are still waiting for Cirillo and Sonic's principals to complete paperwork and put up some money as collateral against any default or failure to satisfactorily complete construction, according to .
The collateral, known as a performance bond, protects the township in the event that the franchisees cannot fulfill the terms of the site plan approval granted by the adjustment board in December, 2010.
"They still need to satisfy some of the conditions of the [zoning board] approval," Greenspan said in a telephone interview on Tuesday. "They also need to post the bond."
Until those conditions are met and the performance bond funds deposited, cannot be issued to Sonic's representatives, he added.
"It's a matter of when they get around to doing it," Greenspan said.
At one point, Sonic's representatives had considered modifying the design of the approved, 1700-square-foot site, but have since agreed to adhere to the original, township-sanctioned plans, Greenspan said.
The approved site plan calls for the eatery, its drive-in lanes and parking lot to be built at the edge of the parking lot for the existing stores at Harmony Road and Overton Lane.
Once constructed, Sonic would front the jughandle leading from Route 35 northbound onto Harmony Road. The jughandle allows motorists to turn from Harmony Road onto Route 35 southbound or to cross over to .
To guide motorists safely around the parking area that encircles its food preparation building, Sonic's representatives have agreed to paint markings on the asphalt and to erect signage that shows how to properly enter and exit the property according to the approved plans.
Like the Sonic expected in Middletown, the Sonic scheduled to open at Shrewsbury Avenue and Route 35 in Tinton Falls will feature curbside service provided by roller skating carhops as well as outdoor seating in a covered patio area and a drive-thru window.
Known as "America's Drive-In," Sonic has about 3,500 locations nationwide, mostly in the southern states according to its web site. In New Jersey, the company's stores are mainly in Ocean County and points south.
The company either owns and operates its restaurants or franchises them to other business entities.