JEFFERSON — Although there is no firm opening date, it appears that an A&W restaurant will be located within a travel plaza planned for the far north side of Jefferson in the coming months.

“We are pleased to learn that a new A&W Restaurant will be opening soon in Jefferson in the convenience store presently being constructed near the north Highway 26 interchange,” Jefferson Mayor Dale Oppermann said Friday.

“Their popular food and one-of-a-kind rootbeer will be a welcome addition to the food and beverage options in Jefferson.”

Jen Pinnow, executive director of the Jefferson Chamber of Commerce, said she is not certain when the A&W will open, but she is excited at the business prospect.

“An A&W Restaurant is an exciting new addition to Jefferson’s local dining options,” Pinnow said. “Its location on the north end is a great extension of the city of Jefferson as the community continues to grow.”

A&W reported last week that same-store sales at A&W Restaurants’ franchised gas and convenience store locations jumped by double digits in June, although Americans were driving fewer miles and buying less gas than usual due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is the type of A&W set for location in Jefferson.

Sales at A&W’s more than 90 convenience store locations were up 10.5 percent, following an 8.3-percent increase in May. They were an average of 11-percent higher during the January-February period, before falling off in March and April, the result of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The strong performance comes as the iconic brand prepares to expand its convenience store and travel center presence from coast to coast with eight new franchised locations,” a media release from A&W stated.

“At a time when Americans were staying off the road, it’s remarkable that sales at A&W convenience store locations were so strong,” said CEO Kevin Bazner. “This shows the tremendous value that A&W brings to convenience stores and travel centers.”

The company recently announced development agreements with eight new store franchisees, in addition to the one in Jefferson.

Locations, all of which will feature drive-throughs, also are being developed in Albany, New York; Berkeley, California; Cody, Wyoming; Hot Springs, Arkansas; Howard Lake, Minnesota; Prescott Valley, Arizona; and Yermo, California

A&W is in its 101st year and is America’s first franchised restaurant chain. There are more than 900 A&Ws in the U.S. and Asia.

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