Photo by Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer
802 Mountain Avenue, Berthoud, Colorado
Heidi Illustrious Rating: for fast food, this one gets a 5/5
This is one of my favorite restaurants in Colorado, not only because they serve up fresh, hot, delicious food, but because it represents authentic Americana.
Young and old alike enjoy stopping in or driving up at Berthoud’s very own genuine A&W; complete with a juke box and of course those famous root beer floats, A&W is an American classic.
In 1971, the Hemann family bought the A&W in Berthoud. Twelve years ago, Randy and wife Judy took over the operation of the store, though mom (Vivian) stops in several times a week to make sure everything’s shipshape. This spring she planted pots of orange mini-petunias and orange daisies outside the restaurant; keeping in step with the A&W colors of orange and brown.
During a remodel of the store last year, it became clear to Hemann that Berthoud thinks of A&W as a vital part of the downtown landscape. The store was undergoing a facelift, but the day the canopy was torn down in order to install a new one, Hemann received half a dozen concerned calls. “I got a lot of phone calls asking ‘what are you doing? You’re not tearing that down are you?’” said Hemann.
A&W takes pride in being a high quality, quick service restaurant. All of A&W’s beef is grown in the United States. Quality has always been a goal of the Hemann owned A&W. “Mom’s number one thing was to improve quality,” stated Hemann. “We’ve cooked to order for 37 years. We run a broiler, which most people don’t. We don’t start cooking anything until you place your order. Mom operated that way because she thought hamburgers and French fries taste much better fresh. “
And they do. This place is worth the drive to Berthoud for a frothy mug of sweet root beer goodness and an all-American hamburger.