A&W Drive-In Closing - Los Angeles Times
The Southland's last A&W with carhop service is calling it quits. Today's eat-and-run crowd prefers drive- through windows.
By Susannah Rosenblatt, Times Staff Writer
April 29, 2006
Today is the last day.
>>Ontario's A&W drive-in, the last root beer stand in Southern California with carhop service, is closing Sunday.
For 46 years, the curbside servers at A&W — on and off roller skates — have delivered their signature root beer floats in frosty glass mugs right to your driver's seat.
"There's not many mom-and-pop places left," said Larry Roan, 64, who has run the stand with his wife, Sherrill, since 1971. After 3 1/2 decades of seven-day workweeks and diminishing sales, the Roans are ready to retire.
Four of A&W's roughly 100 remaining drive-ins are in California, all in the Central Valley. The chain was founded in 1919 in Lodi.
Most of the company's 1,300 locations are conventional fast-foot restaurants, said A&W spokesman Rick Maynard. But the company, owned by Louisville-based Yum! Brands Inc., which operates Pizza Hut, KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver's, has opened two drive-ins near Orlando, Fla., since 2004.<<