VERDE HERITAGE 1973: COTTONWOOD A & W RESTAURANT

A & W Drive-In became the A & W Restaurant during 1973.

"'When I closed last December, I was thinking about doing 1 of 2 things,' says Don Loisy, owner-manager of the new A & W Restaurant in Cottonwood. 'I was either going to sell the place or have it bulldozed down.'"

"Loisy, who purchased the A & W Drive-In in August of 1971, finally chose a 3rd alternative. He decided to build the addition he had been planning for a year, redecorate and open as a full-fledged family-style restaurant, instead of the root beer stand he had previously operated."

"January 10, construction began on a 33 by 40-foot addition to the A & W stand, a $50,000 job which boasts a unique tower on top. Loisy and his wife and partner, Nancy Loisy, designed the structure themselves and because Loisy is an independent franchise owner for A & W, picked up the bill. The restaurant addition seats 60 to 65 people and the décor is described as 'rustic, rugged, and comfortable.'"

"Walnut tables and dark brown leather chairs compliment the bright orange carpeting of the dining room and the natural brick which forms the walls and a wide arch leading to the food service counter. At the center of the dining room is a circular fireplace of black iron with seating and a chimney which rises 28 feet above the floor. Construction of this part of the restaurant, Loisy says was a problem."

"'Three contractors turned me down because of the roof design,' he explained. 'There's 12 tons on that roof. Finally I managed to find a contractor who specialized in beam construction, Chip's Construction, of Pinewood, and he put it up. I also got an expert in masonry, James Makela, of Cottonwood, who did the brick work in here.'"

"'What I wanted, and what I think we've got, is a maintenance-free, attractive place designed for family dining, construction workers' lunches, and kids after a game. It's casual, but has a nice atmosphere and fast service,' he said."

"Although the new restaurant opened March 20, Loisy plans his grand opening celebration for next Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with free root beer with sandwiches, balloons for the kids and door prizes of gallons of root beer. The restaurant will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. daily and Loisy plans breakfast hours after labor day."

"Also on the drawing board are plans for a patio extension on the south side of the building, which should be ready for customers this summer, Loisy said. The patio will be roofed with a miniature of the tower which identifies the new restaurant."

(The Verde Independent; Thursday, March 29, 1973; page 25.)

PEPE'S CAFE is located at 324 S. Main Street. They are open from 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast, lunch and dinner (closed Mondays). "Great Food at Great Prices."

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