Taco Bueno, second SONIC® Drive-In coming to Tahlequah

April 15, 2016

Cherokee Nation Businesses secures major brands for Cherokee Springs Plaza

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation Businesses, developer of Cherokee Springs Plaza, has secured deals that bring Taco Bueno and a second SONIC® Drive-In to Tahlequah.

“Attracting these businesses to our community is certainly a boost to the local economy,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Taking this undeveloped property and turning it into a first-class retail development positions Tahlequah for even more tourism and creates an environment that is ripe for job creation and economic stability.”

The 2,850-square-foot Taco Bueno coming to Cherokee Springs Plaza will create more than 60 jobs when it opens early this fall. The next closest Taco Bueno is 25 miles away.

“Everything the Cherokee Nation does is first class, and it’s an honor to work with them,” said Rick Verity, franchise owner of the new Taco Bueno location. “I’ve wanted to bring a location to Tahlequah for years, and I’m very excited to become a part of this great community.”

Taco Bueno announced last month it was voted America’s favorite Mexican quick service restaurant in a national survey by a global market research firm, Market Force Information. The chain was established in 1967 and now has 178 locations in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana.

SONIC Drive-In is building its newest drive-in on a 36,000-square-foot pad site within the plaza and expects to create roughly 40 new jobs when the location opens in July. Once open, it will be the second location in the Tahlequah area.

“We look forward to opening our second drive-in location in the Tahlequah area, and we are pleased to be partnering with the Cherokee Nation,” said Drew Ritger, senior vice president of development at SONIC. “The Cherokee Springs Plaza development is poised to become a major attraction, and not just for locals but for tourists as well, making it a great fit for our brand. This community is growing rapidly, and we anticipate tremendous success for this location as we continue to serve SONIC’s unique menu offerings and drink combinations to the Tahlequah community.”

SONIC specializes in made-to-order fast food and is known for its specialty menu items and personal carhop service. A variety of unique drink combinations make SONIC your Ultimate Drink Stop!® Favorite menu items include TOASTER® Sandwiches (sandwiches served on thick Texas toast), extra-long cheese coneys (hot dogs with chili and cheese), tots and a variety of premium desserts, served with real ice cream.

The two additional businesses will join Buffalo Wild Wings and Stuteville Ford at the dining, retail and entertainment development.

Cherokee Springs Plaza is located along Muskogee Avenue, in the heart of Tahlequah’s primary retail corridor. Overall, the development is expected to reach 1.3 million square feet of mixed use space.

The tribe broke ground on the development last year and expects the first phase of the project, construction and business recruitment, to wrap up this year. The next phase includes the construction of a new Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, which will feature a resort hotel and convention center.

The final phase includes the creation of a retail strip, centering along Nancy Ward Drive, which will enhance the pedestrian and shopper experience.

The Cherokee Nation and its businesses have a $1.55 billion economic impact on the state of Oklahoma.

For more information, please visit www.cherokeespringsplaza.com.