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Sonny's Dutch Mill Restaurant opens location near Tega Cay

The Smith family enjoys a late lunch in the retro setting at Sonny's Dutch Mill, which opened earlier this month in the Stockbridge Commons shopping center at the corner of S.C. 160 West and Gold Hill Road.
The Smith family enjoys a late lunch in the retro setting at Sonny's Dutch Mill, which opened earlier this month in the Stockbridge Commons shopping center at the corner of S.C. 160 West and Gold Hill Road.

FORT MILL -- Sonny's Dutch Mill Restaurant has swung the doors open at its new location near Tega Cay, and owner Wesley Kennington is excited about offering local customers another dining option.

"Everything is growing so big here, and we are right in the center of it," Kennington said recently.

The restaurant, located in the Stockbridge Commons shopping center at the corner of S.C. 160 West and Gold Hill Road, opened Aug. 6. The menu features hot dogs, hamburgers, chicken strips, sandwiches, chef salads and Sonny's well-known chili cheeseburgers.

Kennington, who has a Rock Hill restaurant on Anderson Road, said Fort Mill's continued growth made it a natural spot for a second location. He was able to secure one of the last remaining storefronts in Stockbridge Commons.

Serving since the 1950s

Originally a carhop restaurant and drive-in movie theater in Rock Hill, Sonny's Dutch Mill has served York County since the 1950s. Kennington took ownership from his father in the 1990s and has taken care to capture the restaurant's history with a 1950s theme.

A mural on the wall, which took 180 hours to finish, shows people enjoying a drive-in movie as they might have in the 1950s. Kennington said he might add "curb hopping" service at the restaurant later.

In addition to the chili burgers, Sonny's Dutch Mill offers three sandwiches with family ties: the Mighty Max, a big burger named for one son; the Notorious Nick barbecue sandwich, named for another; and a chicken sandwich with buffalo sauce dubbed Kickin Katie that refers to his daughter.

Kennington gets help running his business from his wife, brother and mother.

"It's good to have Mom here to consult with on how things used to be done or what needs to be done here or there," he said. "We make our own chili, have fresh ingredients, and we are also a Christian-based business."

Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays.

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