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National restaurant brand comes to Roswell

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A new A&W restaurant will open at the former Carl’s Jr. and Green Burrito location on North Main and Seventh streets. (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Root beer fans should be happy to hear the latest news: an A&W restaurant will be opening on North Main Street in a couple of months.

Restauranteur Will Hoffman of A&W Roswell LLC is the owner of the newest franchise, which he says will be the second stand-alone A&W in New Mexico. The others are coupled with other food brands.

The restaurant will be located at 737 N. Main St., at the intersection of East Seventh Street, in the former Carl’s Jr. and Green Burrito location, which closed in January. The A&W business is slated to open its doors in late September or early October.

“There’s not another A&W close to Roswell,” Hoffman said, “so it is time to bring one to Roswell.”

He said he is now holding interviews for management and will post to job sites when he is ready to hire staff. In all, he expects to hire about 60 people, he said.

But first the restaurant will renovated. “People will not recognize it,” he said. “It is going to be a very shiny, bright white and orange building.”

Best known for their own crafted and freshly made root beer and root beer floats, A&W sites also serve burgers, chicken, hot dogs and cheese curds, among other items.

The chain, which has more than 1,000 locations in the United States and overseas, is celebrating 100 years this year, with a group of franchise owners controlling the U.S. brand since 2011.

“It is the oldest (restaurant) franchise in the United States,” said Randy Dean, franchise growth leader for the corporate organization based in Lexington, Kentucky. “Started to serve people after World War I.”

There are five other locations in New Mexico, with the closest about an hour away in Carlsbad.

“New Mexico is a real good market for us. Texas, too,” Dean said. “We are anticipating some strong growth here.”

According to the A&W corporate website, the minimum investment for starting a free-standing franchise is about $755,000.

Senior Writer Lisa Dunlap can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 311, or at reporter02@rdrnews.com.