Dunkin' Donuts coming to Cedar Rapids

A site plan was approved in January to convert the former Sonic restaurant on Blairs Ferry Rd.

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Construction has started on a new Dunkin’ Donuts in Cedar Rapids, prompting a few visitors to check in on its progress.

One police officer dropped by Wednesday morning to inquire about the work, and workers shared the news of the doughnut chain’s impending arrival.

City Planner Vern Zakostelecky said a site plan was approved in January to convert the former Sonic restaurant at 2905 Blairs Ferry Rd. NE to a Dunkin’ Donuts. A worker there Wednesday said his crew started gutting the building this week.

The property, including the 1,724-square-foot restaurant, was purchased by Reif Oil Co. of Burlington in December for $598,887, according to the city assessor’s website.

Eastern Iowa Food Service, a subsidiary of Reif Oil, has announced plans to open 12 Dunkin’ Donuts stores in Eastern Iowa by 2018. The first, another former Sonic at 604 Second St. in Coralville, is expected to open later this year.

Andrea Farley, who is overseeing the development project for Eastern Iowa Food Service, said no opening dates have been set for either restaurant, but the one in Coralville will debut first.

“We’re still pretty early in the project, and the last thing we want to do is disappoint our guests before our doors even open,” Farley said.

Brueck Construction of Burlington has been contracted to do the remodeling in Cedar Rapids.

Farley said the Coralville and Cedar Rapids buildings are identical and are in very similar condition.

Eastern Iowa Food Service has identified site for its third Dunkin’ Donuts store, but Farley declined to identify where it would be. She said the company is not considering the former Sonic restaurant at 560 33rd Ave. SW in Cedar Rapids, which has been vacant for more than a year.

Dunkin’ Donuts, based in Canton, Mass., has more than 10,000 restaurants in 32 countries.

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