ADA — In case you haven’t noticed, a demolition team has leveled an Ada landmark in the 400 block of North Mississippi in Ada.

The local Sonic Drive-In closed up Oct. 15 and many of its loyal customers will have to do without some of their favorite foods this winter — at least, part of it.

“We’re going to put in a brand-new building,” said Troy Smith Jr., owner of the Ada Sonic since it opened in 1971. “Everything will be upgraded and we’re adding more stalls.”

Troy Smith’s father, Troy Smith Sr., founded Sonic in 1953.

Sonic is the nation's largest chain of drive-in restaurants, starting as a hamburger and root beer — Top Hat Drive-In — at Shawnee in 1953. The company changed its name to Sonic in 1959.

Smith said the first drive-in to adopt the Sonic name is still serving customers in Stillwater. More than a million customers at 3,200 drive-ins coast to coast and in Mexico eat at Sonic every day.

“The old building was 22-feet-by-48-feet,” Troy Smith Jr. said. “The new one will be 24-feet-by-68-feet. It will be one of the first new models. We usually retrofit our operation every seven to 10 years, but this will be a complete new Sonic Drive-In.”

Smith said he hoped gross sales would reach $1.5 million per year when the new drive-in opens.

In June, QSR Magazine and Restaurant Research LLC named Sonic Drive-In as the No. 1franchisor, according to a recent brand satisfaction survey. The survey featured 150 of the largest franchised chains tracked by Restaurant Research and allowed nearly 1,000 franchisees representing 8,462 restaurant units nationwide a chance to voice their opinions about their industry, Smith said.

“We’re shooting for early to mid-January,” he said. “But the weather can always cause delays. We’re just hoping that everything goes smooth.”

The building contractor is Oklahoma City-based Glen Coffman. Smith, who owns drive-ins at Duncan, Poteau and one in Arkansas, said several local subcontractors are being used.

“We’re hoping a new drive-in, with new colors and new designs, will stimulate interest,” Smith said. “Ada has always been very supportive of Sonic. The local drive-in grossed more than $1 million in 2005, and I believe the future is brighter than ever.