A&W hasn't been worth a damn since they tried to make the leap from
drive-in chain to family-friendly sit-down restaurant, failed at that,
and got eaten by one of the junk-food borgs. Town I grew up in, the
local franchise owner looked at the front money it would take to replace
his building and keep his franchise, said the hell with it, and bought a
new sign with his own name on it. Same menu, almost the same root beer,
and kept on chugging for many years, I've tried A&W's is several other
towns since then- it just isn't the same. I think the taste of the cold
root beer in the big glass mug, and the taste of the hot dogs, was
affected by eating them half-outside sitting in a car with open windows,
and the whiff of exhaust from all the kid hot rods pulling in and out.
The food was never stellar- you were paying for the ambiance. Close
cousin to the walkup-only, icecream-only Dairy Queen right next door,
where if you were really good that week, you went for dessert. They
followed the same path A&W tried to, but were a little more successful
at it, at least for awhile. I'll note, though, that the only DQ left in
this town is the original walkup one- the sit-down versions all went
belly up. Vanilla cone I used to pay a quarter for is now about 3
Yet another couple of my treasured childhood memories ruined by
corporate 'bigger must be better' think.
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