© 2022 WUKY
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

A & W Opens Lexington Headquarters

A&W Restaurants 002.jpg
Lexington Mayor Jim Gray (left) with A & W executives (and Rooty the Great Root Bear) at the company's ribbon cutting.

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A company known for its hamburgers, hot dogs, and root beer is back in central Kentucky. A & W Restaurants cut the ribbon Wednesday at its new headquarters in Lexington.

The company was sold by Louisville based YUM! Brands last year to A Great American Brand, LLC.  Kevin Bazner, CEO of A & W, says not being in the shadow of Taco Bell and KFC will allow the restaurant chain to grow.

“A & W is a much smaller organization and probably didn’t get the focus and the attention from YUM as their other brands did.”

A & W was once based in Lexington before it was acquired by YUM. Its headquarters are now located a UK’s Coldstream Research Park.  There are about 1,100 A & W restaurants worldwide, many of which are still co-branded with Long John Silver’s, which was also sold by YUM to another company last year.

Bazner says a search for more locations is underway.

“We will be developing probably four or five A & Ws here in the marketplace, one hopefully within the next six to nine months, as prototype for our future national development.”

State tax incentives helped A & W settle on Lexington for its headquarters. Bazner says Ohio, Florida, and Michigan were also possible locations.

Lexington native Brenna Angel anchored local morning newscasts for WUKY through May 13. She joined the station in March 2010 after previously working for WHAS-AM in Louisville.