Rhode Island Is Home to Restaurant That Invented Root Beer Floats & More
Did you know the country’s first franchise restaurant chain is less than an hour away from the SouthCoast?
A&W Restaurant, the pioneer behind root beer floats, can be found in 35 other states, but there are only a few in New England. One is a short ride to Smithfield, Rhode Island.
It’s one of those special restaurants that has over 100 years of history and has influenced the way in which we dine.
A&W started as a tiny root beer stand in California and quickly grew into the nation’s first franchise restaurant chain.
“It popularized drive-in restaurants and made root beer floats a nationwide, and international, treat,” the chain notes.
A&W claims it has been around longer than sliced bread and that it even invented the bacon cheeseburger in 1963.
The World Famous Root Beer
Based on the original 1919 recipe, A&W’s signature drink is made fresh in-house with real cane sugar, water and a blend of herbs, bark, spices and berries served cold in a frosty mug.
Add vanilla bean ice cream and it’s a recipe for the perfect day.
More Than Just Root Beer
I thought A&W was just the name of the tasty root beer I have come to know and love, but there are over 900 restaurants accompanying the chain's biggest draw. A&W is known for its fried Wisconsin White Cheddar Cheese Curds, signature burgers and hand-breaded chicken tenders.
If it wasn’t for the first A&W root beer stand back in 1919, we may not know the luxury of quick-service eateries.
Or even worse. We may have never discovered the bacon cheeseburger.
The inventors of an American staple are less than an hour away from the SouthCoast, and to me, that’s a trip worth taking.