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A&W Makes a Comeback After The Fire, While McDonald’s Closes

After a devastating fire last summer, Lake George’s A&W is set to reopen soon – but there’s not so good news for another fast food restaurant.

Photo credit: Claire Madden

The A&W on Route 9, which has become a village icon to many, was destroyed on July 19th last year, forcing them to close for the remainder of the summer. Happily, owner Dave Madden made the decision to rebuild and the A&W is reopening on May 12th, ready to serve tourists and residents once again.

While insurance covered most of the cost, an additional $3,635 was raised from a GoFundMe account opened to help Madden get the local business back in operation.

Patrons can expect to see changes to the outside of the building with a new color scheme, with the gold and red checkerboard pattern being swapped out for white, orange, and brown colors. The inside of the building, other than new equipment, will remain unchanged.

“The layout inside is exactly the same because it was the setup that we had for 37 years in business,” owner Dave Madden told The Post Star. “We had fine-tuned the layout so that everything worked in that small space.”

The business lost about half its normal income because of the fire and left 20 people out of work. The A&W building has been in Lake George since 1959, and owned by Madden since 1978. This reopening is truly an exciting announcement for many who have enjoyed the establishment over the years.

On the other hand, a different Lake George fast food joint is saying goodbye: the McDonald’s on Canada Street will not reopen this summer.

“Although Lake George continues to be a popular tourist destination, operating a business seasonally can be very challenging,” owner Renee Reardon said in a statement. She emphasized a desire to remain involved and supportive of the Lake George community, continuing to champion events such as the Lake George Arts Project Jazz Weekend.

It’s interesting to note that in 2015, for the first time in 40 years, McDonald’s closed more restaurants in the country than it opened.

Those walking around Lake George this summer can stop in A&W for a cold root beer or juicy burger, but if they want a McFlurry or a Big Mac they’ll have to travel a bit farther.

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