Cheers to 100 Years: Lodi’s Iconic A&W Restaurant Celebrates Its Centennial

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LODI — Freshly made root beer with soft serve vanilla ice cream on top is a staple at A&W restaurants, especially in Lodi — the birthplace of A&W.

“A&W is just really iconic,” restaurant owner Peter Knight said. “Great food, our root beer, root beer floats. Nothing better than that.”

Knight has owned the Lodi location since 1995. He’s worked there since 1973. It was his first job.

“People keep coming back and they want to share that same experience with the younger members of their families to they keep bringing them in,” he said.

And the restaurant’s claim to fame isn’t all about root beer.

“A&W invented the bacon cheeseburger in 1963. They called it the teen burger, but we call it the bacon cheeseburger today,” Knight said.

Knight says the chain is now part of Americana.

“My wife and I make the A&W here in Lodi one of the go-to places here in town,”  he said.

The A&W in Lodi doesn’t just serve up good old fashioned root beer floats. They also serve up some nostalgia.

“I love to share with people the memorabilia,” Knight said.

Over the years, Knight has collected hundreds of A&W artifacts now on display at the restaurant, inside and out.

“We’re here for the long haul. We’ve been here for 100 years,” he said. “We’re going to be here for another hundred years more.”

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