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A&W Restaurant Moving To Caledonia Because Of Interstate Construction

That old familiar building that houses the A&W Restaurant will be no more next year because the state want's to put in an interstate access at Highway K.

A&W Restaurant, 3751 South 27th St., will have to relocate to Caledonia because of the new interchange being built at Highway K and Interstate 94.

The restaurant makes their own root beer and is one of the oldest drive-in restaurants in the area.

Sharon and Frank, who have owned the business since 1974, are still ironing things with DOT; but they expect to start building the new restaurant in the spring. The new building will be located just to the east of the _Pilot_ gas station on the north side of Highway K and the old building will be razed. A new road will also divide the Pilot and newly built restaurant, which the DOT will pay up to $200,000 of.

Sharon said they’ve known about the road construction since 1995, but the DOT changed the plans in 2007 and those changes would have negatively impacted their business. So they decided to move the business to Caledonia.

“They’ve (Caledonia officials) been very good to work with,” she said. “They let us know right away that ‘Yes, you’re the type of business we want here,’ and they’ve been very welcoming.”

But Sharon has mixed feelings about the move. On one hand she and Frank don’t relish the idea of taking down their current building.

“We like being on this side, but on the east side of the frontage road the traffic is higher. So, we regret leaving the building because we like this style of building, but we can’t rebuild it and there’s some bitterness about that,” she said.

But on the other hand, the move represents a fresh start for their son Philip, who will be the third generation to own the business. Philip, who quit his job as a software engineer, is spearheading the building project by going to all of the lawyer appointments, Sharon said.

This isn’t the first time the restaurant has had to be relocated.

Franklin and Dorothy Welch, Frank’s parents, started running the first A&W Restaurant in 1954, which had been located off of the Highway K exit. Their home and a tavern were also located on the property. But when the Interstate was built in 1958, they had to relocate the restaurant to its current location. But it’s always been in Raymond and it’s the oldest restaurant in Raymond – until now.

James R Hoffa November 17, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Hoffa used to patronize that A&W quite frequently back in the day - it was definitely better than the one in Union Grove. Hoffa hopes that the new building will retain some of the nostalgic charm of the old building. Regardless of the building, as long as the food remains top quality, they'll continue to have customers for a long time to come - but Hoffa has to admit that he'll miss the old location/building, as it was great for sunsets.
patchreader 123 November 18, 2012 at 12:22 AM
Hopefully they'll finally put in a paved parking lot. The gravel parking lot threw up a lot of dust during the hot summer months - not good for drinking a rootbeer float in the drive in with windows down.
Linda November 18, 2012 at 12:58 AM
I hope they will continue with the Car-Hops and Drive-in. I worked there years ago!! Great place!!!
crazycatladyofcaledonia November 18, 2012 at 02:01 AM
I am so glad that they are moving and not closing!! Yippee!!
Denise Lockwood November 18, 2012 at 04:49 AM
me too... I've written enough 'bout that this week.
Denise Lockwood November 18, 2012 at 04:50 AM
@patchreader... good to see you commenting. I'm toying around with a Patch meet up Saturday... you in?
patchreader 123 November 18, 2012 at 05:08 AM
You bet, so long as we "close" the joint again....... Maybe JRH will make an appearance and I can finally debate him regarding campaign finance and lobbying reform.
patchreader 123 November 18, 2012 at 05:13 AM
BTW, I'll bring the juke box money for me and the good Mr. Denise. We'll choose songs having a good bass line. Anyone up for Cake's rendition of "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkb-1ryitXU
James R Hoffa November 18, 2012 at 05:33 AM
@patchreader 123 - As much as Hoffa would love to have that debate in persona, Hoffa is currently nursing his cat back to health after having underwent a pretty major surgery (her head was opened up and a large tumor removed that was starting to kill her). Needless to say, Hoffa's weekends for the next month aren't very open. Perhaps by Christmas time a get together will be possible for Hoffa. Hoffa will be in contact with Denise to see what can work!
Denise Lockwood November 18, 2012 at 05:38 AM
Maybe I'll have to have one for my birthday too, which is Jan. 5... but then you'll have to promise to be nice to each other because my birthday will be drama free. ;)
Denise Lockwood November 18, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Hey everyone, I'll be having a Patch meetup at the Mosquito Inn at 8 p.m. Saturday Nov. 24. I've got a few Patch goodies to give away, but you'll need to pay close attention to the stories this week. I'll be putting together a few trivia questions based on the stories. Would love to meet you guys, so put it on the calendar.
patchreader 123 November 18, 2012 at 05:59 AM
JRH: Sorry to hear about your cat. I hope she makes a full recovery. : )
patchreader 123 November 18, 2012 at 06:09 AM
D: Maybe a front page announcement would attract more people?
Denise Lockwood November 18, 2012 at 02:27 PM
@Patch... I'm gettin' there my friend.
Jake November 18, 2012 at 06:54 PM
Enjoy A&W while you can, remember Michelle Obama has targeted fast food. Could be outlawed before they get to move.
Sue Reynolds November 19, 2012 at 02:11 PM
I am hoping that with them moving into Caledonia that they will contiue to get the business. I sure don't want to see one of our family special places go away like all of the rest. Missed my Union Grove one very much.
Caledonia Confused November 19, 2012 at 08:53 PM
Can someone check the facts on this. Is this considered a "Fast Food" restaurant?
Greg November 19, 2012 at 09:12 PM
I would have to say yes.
Greg November 19, 2012 at 09:39 PM
http://caledonia.patch.com/listings/aw-restaurant-10 See "Cuisine"
Caledonia Confused November 20, 2012 at 12:40 AM
This news story was up for 2 days and no comments from San or "The Fact Police". The Fact Police" 7:00 pm on Sunday, September 30, 2012 The real question is how much HIGHER taxes do you want to have when you invite big box and fast food development heavily into town? The facts based on reviews of towns all over the country who did, shows that these type of developments cost more in services than they provide in tax revenue to communities.
Caledonia Confused November 20, 2012 at 01:34 AM
Here is another entry from "The Fact Police". The original email message from patch says it was posted by san. Must be the same person. "The Fact Police" 7:42 pm on Wednesday, May 25, 2011 Why should Caledonia agree to pay more property taxes to support jobs development for another community, since big box and fast food development (the type being discussed most generally) costs Villages more than it brings in according to the national study cited earlier.
Caledonia Confused November 20, 2012 at 01:45 AM
Here is a post from patchreader 123. He only commented about an unpaved parking lot above. patchreader 123 9:17 pm on Friday, June 3, 2011 For example, big box anchored shopping centers and fast food restaurants draw heavy traffic flows. Shopping centers and fast food restaurants, in attracting large volumes of people, typically require additional police and fire services.
Frances Martin November 20, 2012 at 01:14 PM
Hey, regardless of how we feel about Walmart, we all love the A&W -best rootbeer going, what's not to love about carhops and a rootbeer float on a hot summer day? I don't know about the rest of you, but I'm ready to sheathe the barbs for a holiday break.
patchreader 123 November 20, 2012 at 04:04 PM
Uh oh! It appears that “Caledonia Confused” is attempting to back me into a corner. Well, gee whiz; I shudder at the mere thought of responding to such an attempt. This is all about the Walmart debate. I tell you what, Caledonia Confused….I’ll substantively respond to your post if you answer the following question: would you be willing to have a 24 hour Walmart store built next door to your home? A simple “yes” or “no” answer will suffice. You know what they say: “it’s time to put up or ……” Now, that’s not too “confusing” for you, is it?
Caledonia Confused November 21, 2012 at 02:39 AM
Patch, your question is irrelevant!
Caledonia Confused November 21, 2012 at 03:25 AM
I am worried that the board has been backed in the corner by a group of people. Good money was spent on the Ehlers report. All the comments about what kind of development the village should go after. I am sure the board, you know the guys we elected, want to serve their constituency. Ron doesn't want to sell us out.
patchreader 123 November 21, 2012 at 04:45 AM
So tell me, what did the report say?
patchreader 123 November 21, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I'll take that as a "no," which makes you a hypocrite.
Caledonia Confused December 02, 2012 at 01:59 AM
An answer of irrelevant means no? Shy one horse or two too many? http://youtu.be/lyuwBW9lNa8

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