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Lindley Estes is a business writer for The Free Lance-Star and This blog is on Fredericksburg-area business. Send an e-mail to Lindley Estes.

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Stafford County getting its first Sonic Drive-In

MORE: Read more Stafford County news

A Sonic Drive-In restaurant will open in Stafford County late this year, a first for the county.

Local franchise owner Dale Town plans on opening the restaurant in front of Lowe’s, and between the new Merchant Tire and Goodyear stores on U.S. 17 in the Cherry Grove Center.

Town also owns the Sonic Drive-In’s in Massaponax and Harrison Crossing in Spotsylvania.

“Sonic’s a great brand. People love it,” Town said. “It brings back the old-style drive-in.”

Deputy County Administrator Tim Baroody said Stafford has made a concerted effort to bring in new businesses such as Sonic since 2012, when the county studied what its residents wanted and where they were spending money outside of Stafford.

About 40 new retailers have set up shop in the Stafford since then. Those include Panera, Walgreens, Dunkin Donuts, Chipotle, Aldi’s, Firehouse Subs and MVP Awards among others.