Spring is here in Michigan, which means it's time to get out to a root beer stand and enjoy a pop and a coney dog.

Personally, I'm not a root beer drinker, but when I think of root beer, I think of A&W. That's because it's one of my favorite restaurants. But the next time I sit down for a bacon double cheeseburger with onion rings, I'll have a bit of trivia in the back of my mind.

Believe it or not, A&W is the oldest restaurant chain in the world, getting its start way back in 1919 in Lodi, California.

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Now, many folks will try to tell you that White Castle is the oldest restaurant chain in the world. But, there's a technicality that separates the two businesses. Since A&W started with selling just root beer and light snacks, White Castle is the "First Fast Food Hamburger Chain in the World." But it didn't open its doors in Witchita, Kansas, until 1921.

So, the oldest restaurant chain still belongs to A&W. And despite the business getting its start in California, the chain is really something of a Midwest staple. Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Iowa make up about a third of the US locations, according to Scrape Hero data.

On its own, Michigan is home to 37 locations according to A&W's website. That's roughly one location per 250,000 people in the state.

Of course, most of the locations are in the Detroit Metropolitan area, leaving Southwest Michigan and the Upper Peninsula a bit starved for an A&W location.

A&W is a successful business, all things being equal. The restaurant experienced nine straight years of sales growth from 2013-2022 and is still adding franchise locations today, particularly in Canada. If you've got the cash and the know-how, maybe you can bring A&W to Southwest Michigan and make your local radio guy really happy.

A full list of A&W's Michigan locations can be found here.

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Gallery Credit: Jacob Harrison

Kalamazoo Woman's Maternity Shoot At The Root Beer Stand

The shoot started out as a joke kinda like "wouldn't it be funny if we did a maternity session here at The Root Beer Stand?" Then the more I thought about it I was like okay we are going to make this happen. 

Gallery Credit: All Photos Property of Rebecca L Photography & Used With Permission

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