You know you’re old if you have ever done this…

Sigh… There are days I MISS being that kid, whose biggest worry was a date for the weekend, enough money to put six or seven gallons of leaded gas in the car, and go to A&W and get a burger and a float.


TBT… — 44 Comments

  1. A&W had THE best fries of all the burger joints. Oh, and I have one confirmed kill on the speaker that was attached to the menu board at each parking spot. Seems I misjudged the trailer mirror on our pickup truck one night. You could have a really good time with a $20.00 bill in your pocket. That got you gas, a couple of movie tickets, dinner after the movie, and you would still have change left over.

  2. Dogs & Suds drive-up. The waitresses wore roller skates, and they had the very best root beer.

  3. Oh yeah, I remember A&W really well. Their drive in was about a mile away from my childhood home and was a once a month treat for us. Rarely had the burger, though, it was the root beer float that was the treat. The vehicle driven back then as a 1967 Pontiac Tempest, Mom’s car. 2nd Generation 2 door coupe, 363 engine, geez it was a great car.

  4. Weber’s Drive In is still operating right outside of Philly, but I don’t think the waitresses wear roller-skates anymore. Decent food, great root beer, and shakes.

  5. We didn’t have an A&W in my neck of the woods, but we did have the Varsity and the Yellow Jackett to cruse through or stop for a burger and hotdog. Yes, those were the good old days long gone.

  6. Hey Old NFO;

    I remembered those places, and wish they still were around. But we have sonic burgers in this area that has the same business model and their food is ain’t bad.

  7. I do recall the Dog ‘n’ Suds and there is an A&W down in Iola Kansas, though they no longer deliver to your car. For that there is the Sonic drive ins where they still deliver, though not on roller skates.

    • The Sonic in Dunnellon FL still has roller-skate car-hops. Although they do also have a small outside sit-down-order as well.

  8. There was one in my home town up into the 80’s. Just a pile of falling down buildings now. Kinda sad, but hey in the Big Town close by there’s still a place where they will bring you food on a tray to your car like that. They even bring pitchers of red draw, if you’re into that sort of thing.

    • No, old is when you get the milk in the glass bottle from the milk company cooler next to the steps, you open the bottle in the kitchen, pour off some of the cream for the folks coffee and then you shake it up…

  9. When I was a kid (4 or 5 years old) Mom and Dad would take us to an A&W drive in that was in Kent, Ohio. Ten years ago, I took #2 Son on a road trip to see the town where I lived. That same A&W drive in was still there, and still looked exactly like it had back in the day. And yes, they brought root beer and cheeseburgers on a tray for the window.

  10. Yes, A&W was a fine thing, but a tray of beignets and cafe au’ lait at the Morning Call coffee stand was better. πŸ™‚

    Limited geography, I know…

  11. All- I see we all have/had our favorites. I’ve been to the Varsity, and had a few mornings at Cafe du Monde… LOL

    Posted from my iPhone.

  12. A&W burgers are the standard my mouth still to this day has for what a burger should taste like. Very few rise to the occasion, even at expensive burger places. Something about a low preservative yeasty eggy bun, and real meat. Nothing was low cost or designed to last 90 days in the refrigerator. What we would call artisan or farm to table today.

    And, yeah, the floats.

    Sonic tried to be A&W and failed miserably. So have the franchises of Whataburger that have extended east of the Mississippi.

    Sigh, a wonder from the past. Dangit, now I’m hungry!

  13. My first job was a carhop for A&W at 13. First paycheck and when I asked owner what SS was and he explained it was for my old age I was so indigent as I was never going to be 65. Ah, the stupidly of youth.

  14. Elementary school in the early 50’s, I was a student crossing guard. (Yeah, I know, not a chance that kid would be allowed to have that kind of responsibility today.) Show up at the A&W across Albert Pike in your guard belt and FREE root beer floats! Perks…

  15. Growing up in New Jersey in the 70’s and 80’s, there were the wonderful Stewart’s Root Beer stands, with carhop service and a menu including burgers, dogs, fries, and delicious root beer.

  16. Have one not far from Redquarters. Still serve the root beer in a frosty mug, bring it to the car. Been a while since I went there, though.

    Sonic’s OK, Whataburger’s good. I miss Dave’s Grandburger – cheese-fritters (deep-fried grilled cheese sandwiches) and cherry cokes. Ahh, that was the life. πŸ™‚

  17. Those car window trays remind me of the Flintstones opening credits when Fred gets a rack of ribs* that flips the car on its side.

    *Growing up in a French-Canadian family in New England meant we didn’t encounter much American southern or western BBQ at all. Watching that cartoon as a tyke, I really had no idea what the hell that big red curled thing was – I thought it was a kind of toboggan.

  18. I just discovered there’s an A&W drive in in Greensburg, IN. I think I know what I’m doing next time I have to go between Cincinnati and Indianapolis.

  19. Hot Shoppes hot dog “broiled in butter” and an Orange Freeze would be my treat for helping Dad with the weekend yard work. The Springfield, VA Hot Shoppes was ’bout 4 blocks from our house.

  20. My mom and dad owned a drive-in , flash your headlights and a waitress would take the order , bring out the burgers and fries , then take away the tray when the customer was finished. you could also sit at picnic tables or go inside a small dining room , Pioneer Drive In , Solon , Ohio

  21. I remember them well! But I also remember the excitement when the very first McDonalds in my state opened — we all got in our various cars and went over most afternoons.

    Those were the days…

    Don’t forget drive-in movies, either… who cared what the movie was?

  22. I have fond memories of A&W. There was one near my house, and on evening some of us decided to have a β€œdrive-in experience.”

    We went to A&W and had burgers in the car, then drove to the local drive-in movies to see Fast Times at Ridgemont High, followed by a new foreign flick: The Road Warrior. Fun times!

  23. Yup, I remember A&W. The little town south of us was where the doctor was located and they had one. If we behaved ourselves in the doctor’s office we got a root beer float for the trip home.

  24. We got ’em all around us.
    One just two miles away.
    My first job, outside of a roadside fruit stand, was as a grill cook at an A&W.
    I remember when the girl working the dogs cut her finger slicing onions.
    She grabbed a bun to staunch the blood. She went to toss it when the owner stopped her and said “That’s for a chili dog!”.
    That one closed πŸ™‚

  25. At least once every couple of weeks we went to “Prince’s”, aka The Prince of Hamburgers, on Lemmon Avenue not too far from Dallas Love Field. Had root beer in frosted mugs like A&W and burgers of the style now had at Whataburger. Oh. Yeah, and car service on metal trays.
    In West Lafayette, IN, there’s the XXX drive in that also has good root beer and burgers just off the Purdue campus.

  26. Fry cook at Dog n Suds before I was 16. Worked at airport pumping avgas and polishing acft after 16. Drove a 1954 MG-TD back then, life was good.

  27. I owe my conception to A&W; my future parents met there and I remember going there as a kid. It’s a Chinese greasy spoon now. Sigh. The Sonic recently closed; I always meant to go, but never did.

  28. I can remember when A&W stands would also sell you the mug that your rootbeer came in. And 5 gal GLASS jugs of rootbeer to take home.