Rumor has it that heavy, frosty glass mugs with orange, white, and brown logos are once again going to be popping up all over the Milwaukee area. Yes, A&W Restaurants are making a comeback. Soon they will become fixtures on every corner, like Walgreens and Starbucks.
Excitement would overcome my Brother and I when my Dad told us to hop in the silver Caprice Classic because we were going to A&W! My Dad loved ice cream and custard, which meant that many summer nights were spent at Baskin Robbins, Boy Blue, Gilles, or Kopps. But a trip to A&W, that was something special. The thought of a root beer float in a frosty heavy glass mug; that frothy foam on top of dark brown soda with scoops of vanilla ice cream was heaven.
After pulling into the parking lot, my Dad would roll down the window of that silver Caprice Classic. Yelling into the speaker box he would place out order, “three regular root beer floats and one large float.” The large one, that was for me. I guess that partially explains the weight issue I had as a kid.
Moments later out came the carhop who attached a silver tray to the car window with two clips. On that tray, A&W root beer floats – heavenly.
My Brother and Mom were mixers; mixing the ice cream into the soda until the dark brown soda was a light tan color. My Dad, he and I were slurpers; slurping up the soda through the straw, leaving the ice cream to eat with a long spoon. However it was eaten, an A&W root beer float was a treat.
I look forward to being able to take Monkey to an A&W drive-in. Sure, she’s had that frothy A&W root beer many times but it’s been out of the can that I bought at the white bag store. We’ve even made our own floats by pouring a glass of root beer and scooping vanilla ice cream into it. It’s just not the same.
Missing is that family time on a warm summer night, each of us holding a heavy, frosty glass mug with a orange, white, and brown logo on it. Missing is the metal tray hanging from the car window. Missing is my Dad telling us to hop in the car.
Before Silverback Gorilla and I take Monkey to an A&W drive-in, I will share with her my frosty glass memories. With many new restaurants opening in Milwaukee, it won’t be long before Silverback Gorilla tells Monkey to hop in the silver SUV because we’re going to A&W. "Two large root beer floats and one regular float," he will order. The regular size float is now mine. As the carhop hands us our root beer floats, I hope that Monkey feels the excitement of my childhood.
One question remains, will Monkey be a mixer or a slurper?