WINNIPEG - Bringing home the root beer since 1923, the American founded burger franchise A&W is well-known as a successful international fast food chain, serving 16 countries and territories.
But little known fact amongst many Canadians is that in 1956 A&W Restaurants began their expansion into Canada by launching their first restaurant in Winnipeg.
The Canadian A&W eventually parted ways with its American parent corporation in 1972, first sold to Unilever, and then bought by its management in 1995.
A&W Food Services of Canada has thus been one of the most competitive fast food franchises in the country, being evaluated as the second-largest quick service restaurant burger chain in 2020.
The Canadian A&W is also home to an iconic fast-food character, The Great Root Bear, also known as Rooty, who was born in 1974 as a way to compete with the globalized burger juggernaut, McDonalds.
Vintage graphic designs of this beloved burger bear can be found across Winnipeg’s A&W restaurants, but few of them ever come up for sale.
This retro twelve inch metal and porcelain advertising sign depicting the snuggly Rooty was sold on eBay in late February, and regardless of its touch of patina, the sign gobbled up over $300!
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