Beloved Fast Food Chain Opens Stunning Locale in This Vacation Destination | Arena

Sonic Drive-In’s new location will also feature a new burger and plenty of local flavor.

There was a time when Hawaii was known to westerners as “The Sandwich Islands.”

The famed explorer Captain Cook name the archipelago after one of his patrons, the Earl of Sandwich, who liked to have his food served to him between two slices of bread.

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The Sandwich name lasted only until 1819 when King Kamehameha I formed the islands into the kingdom called Hawaii–but the Aloha State has not lost its taste for sandwiches. 

It may surprise some people to know that Hawaii has the highest number of fast-food restaurants per capita, according to data compiled by in 2021.

Hawaii has 97.5 fast-food locations per 100,000 residents, which works out to one fast-food outlet per every 1,025 people who live in the state.

New York came in second on the fast food, with 92.3 fast restaurants per 100,000 residents. Alaska, meanwhile, ranked the lowest in fast food locations per capita, with just under 62 fast food locations per 100,000 people.

Subway had the top spot in Hawaii, according to, followed by Starbucks  (SBUX) – Get Free Report and McDonald’s  (MCD) – Get Free Report.

Debut of New Burger

And now a new name is stepping into that sun-drenched arena.

Sonic Drive-In is scheduled to open its first Hawaiian location on Feb. 20 in Kahului, Maui, at the Ho’okele Shopping Center.

The new location will offer drive-thru service, patio seating, as well as ordering through the Sonic drive-in stalls.

The opening will also debut the new Sonic Teriyaki Burger, developed exclusively for the Maui drive-In in partnership with the Aloha Shoyu Company.

The new burger features a beef patty topped with teriyaki sauce, American cheese, teriyaki aioli, onions, lettuce and tomatoes, and served on a toasted bun.

“We’ve had our mind set on bringing the Sonic brand to Hawaii for a number of years, and we’re so proud of this amazing new location,” Tanishia Beacham, the company’s chief operating officer, said in a statement.

The Maui location will employ more than 100 full and part-time workers and, it is the first of several locations that Sonic Drive-In Hawaii plans to bring to the state in the coming years.

Drive-In to Feature Murals by Local Artist 

The restaurant will host a grand opening ceremony that will include remarks by the Sonic Drive-In Hawaii team and local Maui representatives, and a blessing and ribbon cutting led by local cultural advisor Kapono Kamaunu.

The new restaurant will also feature custom murals by Hilo artist Kristie Fujiyama Kosmides.

The new location showcases a custom designed building developed by the architectural firm, RAD LAB, along with a solar power system providing much of the drive-in’s power needs.

Edwin Prather, managing member of Sonic Drive-In Hawaii, said that the drive-in “represents the culture and the beauty of our island.”

The Sonic Foundation will make a $40,000 donation to fund the needs of local public-school teachers in Maui through, DonorsChoose, a platform that allows individuals to donate directly to public school classroom requests.

The Oklahoma City-based chain has more than 3,500 restaurants in 47 states and is known for its Carhops, who bring the food to customers’ cars on roller blades or roller skates.

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