In 1959 Joe Fanning was a mill worker living in
In those early days the rootbeer would cost a nickel, a dime for a large. During the golden days of the drive-in restaurant Fanning’s A&W would employ up to seven (7) carhops at a time, all working different areas of the parking lot. In fact, there were times when it was necessary to employ a police officer to direct traffic into and out of the restaurant during the busiest times.
He operated until 1984 when he retired and sold the going concern to Joel Feinberg. A
He put the restaurant up for sale in 1993 and the buyers at that time chose not to operate as an A&W franchise. The buyers operated for two seasons as “Bills Old Time Rootbeer”. Unfortunately, without the A&W brand name, “Bills Old Time Rootbeer” was not successful in
Feinberg put the business on the market again, and also considered selling the land and building to another type of business (a coffee shop, etc). At that time Stephanie Mosca became aware from an A&W employee that the business was for sale.
Stephanie Mosca was a native a
Having grown up in
The first summer season for the “new” A&W began in March of 1995 and was immediate success. The business began as a family business and has operated that way ever since. Almost all of Stephanie Mosca’s sisters have worked at the restaurant at one time or another; and her younger sister Pennie Nero continues working today as the General Manager, having been an indispensable part from the beginning.
The Tuesday cruise is the longest running single site weekly cruise; it is hosted each week by radio personality Cruisin Bruce Palmer. The cruise is currently managed and run by Pennie Nero. The cruise will attract an average of 100 classic show cars and there have been times when a police officer has been hired to handle the traffic from a busy Tuesday night.
Also in the spirit of the family business, Stephanie Mosca’s children Angelo (age 16) and Isabella (age 14) both currently work at the restaurant. They have been pitching in since they were young, and are happy today to paid members of the staff of A&W.
In an effort to modernize the facilities and upgrade the experience of the customer, Mosca did an remodel of the building several years ago. In addition to coming up to the new fire code, she extensively upgraded the kitchen, bathrooms and patio area. The roof was replaced and the overall lifespan of the fifty year old building was extended into the 21st century.
The recipe for success in today’s A&W is literally and figuratively the same as when Joe Fanning opened in 1960. The rootbeer recipe is exactly the same today as when Fanning mixed his first batch that first summer. Also, the use of car-hops (“Turn Lights On for Service”); and tray on the window service of rootbeer in mugs is part of the nostalgic charm that continues today.
Facts About A&W Of Smithfield
Facts About A&W Of Smithfield
Joe Fanning 1960-1985
Joel Feinberg 1985-1993 **
Stephanie Mosca 1995-Present
* 1993 & 1994 seasons operated as “Bill Old Time Rootbeer”
-over 1,000,000 hot wieners
-over 97,000 gallons of rootbeer poured in frosted mugs
-over 40,000 gallons of rootbeer poured for rootbeer floats
Hot dog, French Fry, Orange Soda $1.99
Hamburger, French Fry, Rootbeer $1.99