SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — The building construction is done; the soda and hot dog makers are hired and trained; and drive-in stalls are open, waiting to be served by a roller-skating server.

After months of anticipation, the first SONIC Drive-In in Rhode Island opened Monday morning in Smithfield, on Putnam Pike near the Apple Valley Mall, making the Ocean State the 45th in the union to feature the unique fast food chain.

The grand opening has created heavy traffic on Route 44 throughout the day. As of 3 p.m., SONIC Northeast Market Leader Joshua Susko said approximately 500 orders had been filled since the restaurant opened at 7 a.m., and he expects that number to triple by the end of the day on Monday.

Ground was broken at the site in July, after the first announcement of a franchise was made back in February.

There are 70 seats inside, according to franchisee Bob Bowen, in addition to drive-in stalls, for when cold and snowy weather arrives — and will be open 7 a.m. until midnight seven days a week. The hope is to bring two more SONICS to Rhode Island in the coming years.

The chain has a big presence in the South. Buzz has been building for years nationwide thanks to commercials featured on national broadcasts, including athletic events — even though SONIC may remain inconveniently located for some of America.* The parent company says it’s hoping to continue spreading the company nationwide.

The restaurants offer a take on standard fare, burgers and fries — but also breakfast, chicken tenders and cult favorites, like tater tots and jalapeno poppers, and drink offerings numbering more than a million (when you consider different combinations of sodas, ‘ades’, punches, and slushes).* A regional burger and fast food chain based in the Pacific Northwest, Burgerville, first used the slogan “Inconveniently located for most of America” in the late 1980’s. That chain exists to this day with locations only in Oregon and Washington.