Sponsored by A&W Steinbach

It’s a story 60 years in the making, and A&W in Steinbach wants to join in the celebration of old and new!

A&W in Steinbach celebrates six decades on June 23rd. In preparation for the celebration, owner Tamara Williamson has displayed a lot of research thanks to the expertise of Wes Keating.

"Wes looked into the newspaper archives and dug up some information and history. He actually found the original grand opening ad in the paper. So, we copied the date, June 23rd, for our grand opening."

The upcoming celebration will feature a free root beer with all food purchases between 10 A.M. and 10 P.M., prizes and giveaways, photo ops with the Root Bear, and even carhop service.

"We still have some trays! Now, they’re not the original ones, but we have carhop trays that actually hook onto vehicle windows. So when people drive-thru, or step inside for takeout, if they want to dine in their vehicle, we can bring it out to their car like the old days."

But, will there be roller skates?

"No," Tamara laughs. "We’re not brave enough to pull that off."

Carhop service will also be offered on Sundays throughout the summer, weather permitting.

Beyond fizzy treats and free giveaways, the owners also hope to create a memory book, where they’ll include the newfound newspaper articles alongside stories and photos from customers, former staff, and owners throughout the years.

"So many people have stories," Tamara reminisces. "Like, this is the place where I had my first date and met my spouse. Or… this was my first job. And there’s just so many great memories out there, and we love to hear the stories. Even from the interviews I have today, with kids looking for their first job, they talk about fond memories with their parents and grandparents, coming to A&W over the years, or even working here in the past. So, I would love to put together a historical memory book of pictures and stories that people share with us."

All story and photo entries will be put into a draw for a three-foot stuffed Root Bear. Photos must include an explanation or story to be entered in the draw, which will take place on June 30th on the local radio station.

Looking back, it’s safe to say that a lot has changed since 1962. One rather visible restaurant fixture of the time was a mini-golf course out back.

"We have a picture of that posted on the wall! You can even see the old Penner Chev Olds dealership behind it."

Today, the restaurant features a brand-new remodelled kitchen, as well as several upgrades made to the dining room, including a new A&W Brew Bar recently installed this month.

"It’s a new drink system, along with updates to the front counter," explains Williamson. "Now we can serve frozen drinks and lattes. 26 new drinks have been added to the menu, so there’s a lot of variety."

Whether to reminisce, sip root beer, or taste test something new, all are welcome to head to A&W in Steinbach on June 23rd as they celebrate 60 years of being part of this vibrant community.

For those who have copies of photos and stories to share, please email awstbh@gmail.com.

All historical photos courtesy The Carillon and Wes Keating