Lexington: Exclusive A&W Root Beer Concept Restaurants Will Float Your Boat
- Today, Thursday, August 6: Get a free A&W root beer float from 2 PM – closing for National Root Beer Float Day.
- Saturday, August 8: Main Street, Lexington flagship store grand opening celebration, 11 AM – 3 PM.
A&W Root Beer certainly is one of the great Americana brand names dating back to its California origin in 1919. Likely most don’t realize–or at least I didn’t fully–that despite its West coast origins, A&W HQ is now rooted in Lexington, Kentucky.
I was invited out to see the Leestown Road store and sample the goods recently. Confession: Although I had eaten A&W before it had literally been years since I had set foot in one. What I discovered was that Lexington is ground zero for a new wave of A&W concept stores.
At this point the A&W concept stores are limited to Lexington, so it’s something of an under the radar foodie bonus for locals. The concept stores are upscaling A&W into the same more upscale burger space as Steak & Shake and Smashburger.
Although you order at the counter, the food is brought to your table by a server and later bused for you. To upgrade the foundational menu star, the hamburgers are made from never-frozen beef. There are also tasty chicken strips for those looking to break out of the standard burger.
But A&W is synonymous with root beer, and the all-American beverage serves as their trump card. The concept restaurants make their root beer fresh in-store each morning with real cane sugar. There’s no question you can taste a difference (insider hint: you can buy a jug of the fresh root beer to go!). Then they take the root beer, pour it into real frosted glass mugs and add soft serve ice cream. You’re presented with the true signature A&W product: the A&W root beer float.
You will want to have one.
I don’t even know the last time I had had a root beer float, but drinking one out of a frosted mug made me regret all that lost time. My daughters who were in tow for the visit enthusiastically agreed with that assessment.
I was impressed with the concept store. The vibe is futuristic retro (is that even possible?), giving it an updated diner feel. The new Main Street location has been built to A&W specs, so it captures the essence of what they want this new wave of restaurants to be. Lexington is the test ground for what could be a national rollout as the brand approaches its 100th birthday.
Two events this week celebrate the Lexington A&W concept stores.
Today, August 6, is National Root Beer Float Day. From 2 PM to close, you can get a free root beer float at any location. Donations are encouraged for the Wounded Warrior Project, a worthwhile cause.
Saturday, August 8, the new A&W flagship restaurant will have a grand opening celebration from 11 AM – 3 PM. You can read about that here.
Sometimes you want to grab a good burger and take the family to a fun atmosphere where you actually get a little service. A&W Lexington has certainly stepped up its game with the new concept stores, and provide a worthy option to avoid the tired, standard fast food options.
Now go get a float.
Main Street Flagship Store
652 East Main Street
114 Towne Center Drive
2251 War Admiral Way, Suite 111
Sunday – Thursdays: 10:30 AM – 9 PM
Friday – Saturday: 10:30 AM – 10 PM
Fayette Mall Food Court
3401 Nicholasville Road