A&W restaurant now offers its frosty mug taste in Pocatello

Jun 21st, 2016 | By | Category: Business Features, Business news, Featured, Pocatello News, Restaurants, Services
A&W opened its first Pocatello location on Arthur Avenue on Monday. (Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

A&W opened its first Pocatello location on Arthur Avenue on Monday. (Photo by Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal)

By Cydney McFarland/Idaho State Journal

POCATELLO — Fast food restaurant A&W opened in Pocatello on Monday on Arthur Avenue between Carson Street and Day Street. With fast food restaurants popping up in Chubbuck in recent months, this is the first to open in Pocatello.

Chet Willie, who owns both the new A&W and the Pit Stop gas station next door, had been looking for something to fill the empty lot next to his gas station. He said he thought the location was perfect for a restaurant since that area of Pocatello has few restaurant, save for the Burger King on Main Street.

However, since both Arthur Avenue and Main Street are one-way streets, Willie said that puts the two restaurants on different traffic routes. He also said the restaurants serve different kinds of fast food.

“As far as fast food goes A&W is pretty high quality,” said Willie. “The chicken tenders are hand breaded here and the root beer is house made.”

The restaurant seems to have been quickly embraced by the community, with roughly 900 people stopping by on opening day. Since then, Willie said they’ve stayed consistently busy.

To keep up, Willie has already added to his staff. On his initial hire, he had 33 employees. That has already grown to just over 40.

A&W started in 1919 in Lodi, California, where a frosty glass of their root beer was sold for a nickel. The business eventually expanded to include food like burgers, chicken tenders and fries. The company has now expanded to over 1,000 locations and is a popular brand of root beer.

According to Willie, A&W recently rebranded itself. It’s now focusing on its root beer brand and food that is cooked to order to stand out in a field full of fast food joints slinging classic burgers and fries.

While this is the first A&W in Pocatello, it’s not the first location in Southeast Idaho. Both McCammon and Idaho Falls also have A&W locations.

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