That A&W I Knew

First thing comes to mind is the Root Beer when one mention A&W! And I love that Root Beer Float!

This followed by their waffle with ice-cream on top. I love this more than their Coney Dog (hot dog);

You have probably read about A&W in Chun See post and Aroma Cookery.

Most of us knew that the first A&W store opened at Dunearn Road in 1966. It was the first fast food from US to step into Singapore and later expanded throughout the island and including the zoo. Due to competition from other fast food chain, business was affected. In 1999, the outlet at the Singapore Zoo was closed down. By 2002, there were only 7 outlets around the island. So did A&W finally closed in 2003 or 2004? Not sure. You may probably still find A&W in Malaysia.

How many of us know what ‘A&W’ stands for? The company name was taken from the last name initials of partners Roy Allen and Frank Wright. See the history here and here.

The last A&W I still can find in Singapore was at the Changi Airport Transit area (can’t remember which terminal). In some records found on internet, in 2003 the A&W outlets are found at;

  • A & W Changi Airport T2
    Airport Blvd Changi Airport Passenger Terminal 2
  • A & W City Plaza
    810 Geylang Rd. #01-00 City Plaza
  • A & W Cuppage Mall
    Orchard Rd #01-K3
  • A & W Woodlands
    Blk 548 Woodlands Dr. #01-20
  • A & W Tampines
    Blk 201D Tampines St. 21 #01-1155
  • A & W Tampines
    Blk 205 Hougang St. 21 #01-133 Heartland Mall-Kovan

I’m most bewildered by the outlet at Tampines Blk. 201D. As I’m staying near there, but I’ve not got the chance to eat at that outlet. It was a very small outlet (with aircon installation but you can’t feel the aircon type) and once I went in, I started to perspire. So I was out without having ordering anything. That outlet even got Nasi Lemak in it’s menu! But think it lasted only about 1 year or so…

Do you still remember this outlet at Bukit Merah (besides the old HDB HQ)?

Photo Credit : Designed For Living, HDB.

Here are some old glasses from A&W found during the July Singapore Heritage Fair;

So what is left now are just cans and cans of Root Beer that we can buy from the supermarkets;

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30 Responses to “That A&W I Knew”


  1. 1 Victor Koo Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 10:08 am

    That was a truly A&Wsome post! I vaguely remember there was one near the National Stadium. It is now occupied either by McDonald’s or KFC.

  2. 2 hyacinthus Wednesday, October 10, 2007 at 8:24 pm

    all i remember about it is the fish burger, curly fries and root beer float. The last time I had it was long ago at Bukit Merah as shown in your pics above.

  3. 3 laokokok Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 7:38 am

    Thanks Victor. Didn’t recall that one at Stadium area.

    Hi Hyacinthus, welcome here. That Bukit Merah outlet seems to be quite popular since it’s near to HDB HQ.

  4. 4 Lam Chun See Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Yes I remember the one at Bt Merah Central. Used to work in nearby NPB.

  5. 5 The Singapore Daily Friday, October 12, 2007 at 12:05 pm

    Hi laokokok, great photos. Your post has been featured in The Singapore Daily [singaporedaily.wordpress.com]. Keep blogging!

  6. 6 macabresg Friday, October 12, 2007 at 1:21 pm

    So nostalgic. They used to have a water tumbler in the shape of their iconic bear right? I love their frosted glass root beer.

  7. 7 daddyto3 Friday, October 12, 2007 at 4:37 pm

    Darn… Now I feel like a root beer float and a corny dog!! Where can I find one?

    Great post… really enjoyed reading it! Thanks for sharing

  8. 8 py Saturday, October 13, 2007 at 12:12 am

    I have a few of those A&W glasses. I still remember how I had looked forward to eating the waffle and the A&W float when I was a child.

  9. 9 onlooker Sunday, October 14, 2007 at 4:39 pm

    The last times I visited A&W was in 2002 at ten miles junction but that was closed down after sheng shiong moved in.

  10. 10 sgporc Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 3:29 am

    The most “classic” A&W outlet that I am aware of was at Upper Thomson Road opposite Thomson CC at precisely what is now Long House Food Center(if it’s still surviving, I haven’t been home for more than a year already). And by classic I mean a sole exclusive stand-alone bilding for the restaurant itself. It even had a drive through round the back of the building. I cannot really remember when it closed down, but it was left vacant for quite a while, before Kopi Tiam came in, filled in the rear drive-thru lane and converted it into an open concept food centre, after which the current Long House took over when they lost their place at jalan bersar stadium…

    Other A&Ws outlets that I could remember was at Ang Mo Kio Central (my primary school days) and more recently (late 90s) at Clementi Central while I was at NUS. I guess they were really popular for a while and were everywhere…

  11. 11 laokokok Tuesday, October 16, 2007 at 7:46 am

    Wah, seems like we have a lot of A&W lovers here! Thanks for all the inputs, it’s really nice.

  12. 12 Vango Sunday, November 4, 2007 at 11:22 pm

    The only REAL antique original reciepe A&W ROOT BEER that I know is still operating and standing, is just inside the Winsconsin State border from Dubuque, Ia just a short drive up the interstate highway! Drive in and they put the tray on your window………No Cooler then that!….jUST LIKE THE 60’S-70’S WHEN I WAS A KID.
    You won’t find this Frothy-Beer at any LOng-John Silvers Franchise………
    Before they made it into Carbonated Soda Pop crap!
    FYI——YOURS TRULY, VANGO

  13. 13 laokokok Monday, November 5, 2007 at 7:47 am

    Thanks Vango and welcome here.

  14. 14 Patricea Chow Friday, November 9, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    sgporc: That outlet at Thomson closed ages ago. Think the spot is now occupied by a bank. OCBC, I think.

    I grew up visiting the A&W outlet in Ang Mo Kio Central, quite near to the Town Council and the mosque. During my university days (1996 to 2000), there was still an outlet at Clementi Central, close to the main market and food centre. I think all the A&W outlets in Spore are closed.

    The last time I went to an A&W outlet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was in 2003. Chicken was served on a plate with stainless steel fork and knife, and the sauces were in bottles left on the table.

    In Bali, there are a couple of A&W outlets. One is at Discovery Mall in Kuta, and the newest one is at Carrefour along Sunset Road, in the Seminyak area. There are curly fries and root beer float on the menu. Cannot recall if waffle with ice cream is on the menu, although there is a selection of ice cream sundaes.

    The standard is not the same though, as the chicken used here is mainly kampung chicken, not the farm-fed fattened chickens we are used to in Singapore.

  15. 15 laokokok Monday, November 12, 2007 at 7:49 am

    That’s interesting infos Patricea!

  16. 16 chng ee beng Wednesday, December 19, 2007 at 11:42 pm

    Sign..no A & W anymore in Singapore but patronise the one at KLCC and the one along the North-South Malaysia Highway, Ayer Keroh Stopover. Yummy..missed them here in Singapore.

  17. 17 Victoria Monday, July 14, 2008 at 6:40 pm

    Oh yes A & W, i miss the root beer float and curly fries .. oh yes when going to kl in Aigust, i will chk out the A&W outlets there …

  18. 18 goh tien yit . Saturday, July 19, 2008 at 10:08 pm

    can anyone bring back a and w ?

  19. 19 Timothy Monday, November 3, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    It looks like in te 70s and 80s, glasses were the norm then. We seem to have switch to ceramic, melamine and plastic/cardboard cups now!

    I wonder if the other ‘extinct’ FF restaurants like Hardees, Wendy’s, Texas Fried chicken etc are surviving elsewhere..

  20. 20 grappelli Saturday, January 17, 2009 at 2:27 pm

    I still remember the A&W located along the Dunean Rd. just in front of Shell gas stand. It was in 1969 when my family moved from Japan to Singapore and lived at the house around University road. In those days, A&W was not existed yet. There were a lots of old tall trees along Dunean and Bukit Timah Rd.

    Who still remembers that there was a crude orchid flower store before the A&W was built in 1970? So the A&W changed the atmosphere around there. I enjoyed their hamburgers and drinks American style.

  21. 21 peek-a-boo Sunday, January 18, 2009 at 5:32 am

    I remember there was a Drive In at A&W Dunearn. I was small but I remember my parents took us there sometimes on payday. We’d share A&W’s Chicken In The Basket in the car.I was crazy about their Root Beer. Such happy times.SIGH!

  22. 22 Kimology Friday, November 6, 2009 at 1:33 am

    As students, we will go to the Dunearn A&W for treats or dates. Some of the guys will steal those big mugs by hiding them in their helmets.

    A & W is still quite common in Malaysia. I like their coney dogs and rootbeer floats but the chicken have dropped in standard. One of the popular ways of celebrating a kid’s birthday is to have it there and they will throw in the bear as well. The bear & co will also come to your party at home for a minimum order.
    Wendy’s also reopened in Malaysia.

  23. 23 laokokok Friday, November 6, 2009 at 9:24 am

    Will try to eat some of that when I’m in Malaysia.

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  27. 27 lisa Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 3:42 pm

    A&W was one my favorite hang out joint during my teenage life, root beer float and ham burger especially the one at Mac Donald house, Hougang, Bukit Merah and Ang Mo Kio…. other than Mac Donald…. those were the days..

  28. 28 vince Wednesday, March 11, 2015 at 1:23 am

    bukit merah that time have a emporium, sweet 1980s, no handphone, no internet and most of us in primary school. Best thing is to hang out with friends.


  1. 1 Daily SG: 12 Oct 2007 « The Singapore Daily Trackback on Friday, October 12, 2007 at 11:29 am
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