A&W Drive In

A&W LogoThe A&W Drive In (AKA: "A&W" , "The A"). Location: Hawthorne and 136th St. (also on Imperial and Freeman Av. in Hawthorne, but didn't compare to the Hawthorne Bl. location.)

A&W Parking Layout In the early 60's, this was the place to be on a Friday or Saturday night, or any other night for that matter. I loved cars in High School, as I do now, and "The A&W" and Frosties was where I'd be with my car buddys, most weekends.

The A&W in Hawthorne, however, transcended Hawthorne. You could be in Burbank or Riverside and mention A&W and they knew which one you were talking about.

The A&W was a Drive In Restaurant, but it should have been the first "Drive Through" Restaurant (see inset) because that's what you did. The place was so full that you'd be lucky if you found a place to park, so you "drove through" and then down an alley in back to 137st St., where you came back to Hawthorne Bl. (This, by the way, was known as "Cruising the A".) You crossed Hawthorne Bl. and headed North toward the Wich Stand.
If you were lucky enough to find a parking place in the A&W then you would park and most probably order a 5 cent root beer for everyone in your car and stay for at least an hour. I believe that was the downfall of the A&W in Hawthorne. By ordering some measly 5 cent item, you could literally stay as long as you wanted.

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