Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 11-01-2019, 01:59 PM
gkster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,286

Anyone remember: 60s hamburger place with "Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear" burgers?


A couple of times as a kid in the 60s I visited Texas and we ate at a hamburger place with "Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Baby Bear" burgers in different sizes. I have no memory of the restaurant name and googllng doesn't bring anything up. I do remember paper napkins with the bears printed on them.

This thread http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/...d.php?t=884699 with its reference to A&W and its Papa, Mama and Baby burgers made me wonder whether the Papa Bear was an A&W knockoff?

https://www.google.com/search?q=A%26...9fH1iSIjkI3yM:
  #2  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:15 PM
allyn is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 110
Looks like they were the mascots of A&W at one time:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A%26W_Restaurants#Mascots
  #3  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:21 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,941
I can confirm that it was A&W from personal experience.
  #4  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:34 PM
Prof. Pepperwinkle's Avatar
Prof. Pepperwinkle is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 60,196
I loved going to A&W. I remember the pride I felt when I finally graduated to the Papa Bear burger. But best of all was the root beer in the frosty mug.
  #5  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:37 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,941
Refilling the gallon jugs at the drive-up every Friday.
  #6  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:42 PM
Prof. Pepperwinkle's Avatar
Prof. Pepperwinkle is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Chateau Pepperwinkle
Posts: 60,196
And taking the gallon jugs with a heckuva lot of popcorn to the Drive-In Theater.
  #7  
Old 11-01-2019, 02:42 PM
Jophiel's Avatar
Jophiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 19,475
In the Chicago area, we had the Golden Bear restaurants with a Mama, Papa, Baby bear theme. Don't know if they reached Texas or were just regional. You can see their menu here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25692985@N07/13889786356/
  #8  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:10 PM
Czarcasm's Avatar
Czarcasm is online now
Charter Member
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 62,941
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
In the Chicago area, we had the Golden Bear restaurants with a Mama, Papa, Baby bear theme. Don't know if they reached Texas or were just regional. You can see their menu here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25692985@N07/13889786356/
A lot of info about the Golden Bear chain at the Forgotten Chicago Forum.
  #9  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:10 PM
terentii's Avatar
terentii is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Moscow/Toronto
Posts: 18,348
Didn't A&W have a barbecued beef sandwich? I remember eating those with their root beer when I was a little kid. They were great!

I've eaten at A&W only a couple of times in the last 40 years. Do they still make the barbecued beef sandwich?
__________________
"Makes you wonder why we bother, eh, Fawlty?"
"Didn't know you did, Major."

Last edited by terentii; 11-01-2019 at 03:11 PM.
  #10  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:21 PM
74westy's Avatar
74westy is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Regina, SK, Canada
Posts: 2,012
A&W had Mamma burger, Poppa Burger, Baby burger and Teen burger but no "bear" in the names. There was the Root-bear mascot but that was later as I recall. The burger family has been resurrected, at least in Canada, as a kinda nostalgia thing.

If the OP really remembers a bear family, that could be one of the outfits mentioned upthread.

Has A&W declined in the US?. In the drive-in restaurant thread, people are talking as if it has become rare.

Let's all go to A&W
Food's more fun at A&W
Have a mug of root beer, or maybe two or three
Pick the perfect burger from the Burger Family
Let's all go to A&W
Food's more fun at A&W
Hop in the car
Come as you are...
To A&W
  #11  
Old 11-01-2019, 03:44 PM
Chefguy's Avatar
Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 42,616
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
A&W had Mamma burger, Poppa Burger, Baby burger and Teen burger but no "bear" in the names. There was the Root-bear mascot but that was later as I recall. The burger family has been resurrected, at least in Canada, as a kinda nostalgia thing.

If the OP really remembers a bear family, that could be one of the outfits mentioned upthread.

Has A&W declined in the US?. In the drive-in restaurant thread, people are talking as if it has become rare.

Let's all go to A&W
Food's more fun at A&W
Have a mug of root beer, or maybe two or three
Pick the perfect burger from the Burger Family
Let's all go to A&W
Food's more fun at A&W
Hop in the car
Come as you are...
To A&W
That's how I remember it. Loved me some A&W and also Arctic Circle, neither of which are seen much these days unless you're in Utah or Idaho (for AC). Only 3 A&Ws in the Portland area. We used to cruise "the gut" in Anchorage, drinking root beer out of the quart cone-shaped containers.

I'm actually surprised that either franchise is still able to compete with McD or the others. Perhaps they've gone on the cheap with ingredients like the big guys in order to keep their doors open.
  #12  
Old 11-01-2019, 04:54 PM
Disheavel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,581
A&W is doing much better in Canada these days... And I just had an extra large "Uncle" sized burger so the tradition and thought is still in the company somewhere.
  #13  
Old 11-01-2019, 05:56 PM
Thudlow Boink's Avatar
Thudlow Boink is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Lincoln, IL
Posts: 27,778
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jophiel View Post
In the Chicago area, we had the Golden Bear restaurants with a Mama, Papa, Baby bear theme. Don't know if they reached Texas or were just regional. You can see their menu here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/25692985@N07/13889786356/
It's hard to see, but I think that menu has a "Papa Golden Bear burger" but not a Mama Bear or Baby Bear Burger. Although maybe there was a kids' menu?

I remember eating at Golden Bear as a kid (the Springfield, IL location, mentioned in Czarcasm's link). I almost always got pancakes.
  #14  
Old 11-01-2019, 06:13 PM
digs's Avatar
digs is online now
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: West of Wauwatosa
Posts: 10,132
Quote:
Originally Posted by Prof. Pepperwinkle View Post
I loved going to A&W. I remember the pride I felt when I finally graduated to the Papa Bear burger. But best of all was the root beer in the frosty mug.
Anyone remember trying to drink out of the quart-size "megaphones"?... impossible without getting a face-full at some point.

I'm sure they thought we'd be genteelly pouring it into frosty mugs, but we couldn't resist pulling the waxed paper seal off the end (yes, you drank out of the small end), and tipping it up until we got a tidal wave of root beer all over our chins and shirts.

Last edited by digs; 11-01-2019 at 06:14 PM.
  #15  
Old 11-01-2019, 09:06 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 29,954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Disheavel View Post
A&W is doing much better in Canada these days... And I just had an extra large "Uncle" sized burger so the tradition and thought is still in the company somewhere.
A&W Canada is now entirely separate from A&W US. They have joint rights to the trademarks and things like the burger family, but they're a going concern here.

Have gone all-in on no hormone meat, locally sourced wheat, etc. They've been steadily tearing down the dilapidated 80s style restaurants in my area and building sleek new ones. Their burgers and fries are way better than MickeyD's.
  #16  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:18 PM
OttoDaFe's Avatar
OttoDaFe is offline
Sluice Gate Tender, FCD #3
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Soviet of Washington
Posts: 2,841
Last standalone, car service A&W hereabouts closed several years ago, leaving only those co-located with KFC. I believe they have a Papa burger, but not the others.

Random memory from the '60s: another standalone A&W, which was demolished to make way for a (non-interstellar) bypass, had fries that were made from some sort of potato paste which was extruded directly into the deep fryer. At any rate, they had a distinctly odd texture. Anyone else recall something similar?
  #17  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:18 PM
Sunny Daze's Avatar
Sunny Daze is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Bay Area Urban Sprawl
Posts: 13,000
A&W is frequently co-located with KFC restaurants. I've seen them in both Oregon and CA.
  #18  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:28 PM
kenobi 65's Avatar
kenobi 65 is offline
Corellian Nerfherder
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: Brookfield, IL
Posts: 16,026
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunny Daze View Post
A&W is frequently co-located with KFC restaurants. I've seen them in both Oregon and CA.
In the US, A&W was owned by Yum! (which also owns KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut) from 2002 until 2011. Yum! (which, at that point, was called Tricon) bought a company called Yorkshire Global Restaurants in 2002, and thus obtained both A&W and Long John Silvers. In the years that followed, Yum! created a lot of co-located restaurants like that, with various permutations of the five chains that they owned.

In 2011, Yum! sold off A&W and Long John Silvers, to different buyer groups. I suspect that any A&Ws which still share a restaurant with a Yum! brand are remnants of the era when Yum! owned A&W.
  #19  
Old 11-01-2019, 10:37 PM
Bryan Ekers's Avatar
Bryan Ekers is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Montreal, QC
Posts: 59,364
A&W's are easy to find in Montreal. There's one about 100 meters from where I'm sitting right now.

I have vague childhood memories of visiting one in the suburbs west of the city circa 1974. They had carhops on roller skates.
__________________
Don't worry about the end of Inception. We have top men working on it right now. Top. Men.
  #20  
Old 11-02-2019, 11:01 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan's Avatar
Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
zymolosely polydactile
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 27,451
Golden Bear! Golden Bear!
A honey of a place (of a place)
Where food is fun!
Golden Bear!

Their song was on their napkins, along with the music. Never heard it played, but we sang it when drunk and dining there. Ah, the 70's.
  #21  
Old 11-02-2019, 01:27 PM
actualliberalnotoneofthose is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 2,430
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
Has A&W declined in the US?. In the drive-in restaurant thread, people are talking as if it has become rare.
I'm 40 and I've rarely seen A&W outside of limited mall food court versions, a couple co-branded (a la KFC/LJS, Pizza Hut/Taco Bell YUM brands fast food stops) stores, and the rare Interstate exit location on a long road trip. I think ate there once when I was starving and there was nothing else around. I can't recall anything about the food. I've probably eaten at Roy Rogers more in the past 20 years and they are very rare.
  #22  
Old 11-02-2019, 05:48 PM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,564
There hasn't been an A&W within a hundred miles of us in quite a while. (Their store locater says it's only a 1:41 drive. Nice.) The one that had been nearish to us was one of those gawdawful KFC combo things. Barely had a menu at all.
  #23  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:28 AM
gkster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,286
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
A&W had Mamma burger, Poppa Burger, Baby burger and Teen burger but no "bear" in the names. There was the Root-bear mascot but that was later as I recall. The burger family has been resurrected, at least in Canada, as a kinda nostalgia thing.

If the OP really remembers a bear family, that could be one of the outfits mentioned upthread.
Yes, I definitely do remember a bear family. Either the napkins or the burger paper wrappers had cartoon bear heads on them. I was 7 or 8 and remember a heated discussion with my older sister as to whether I was big enough to order a Mama Bear or whether I was still a baby and had to stay with the Baby bear.

The dates I saw them were 1966 - 1968. Before and after those dates we lived too far away to visit Texas. The wikipedia link says that the bear mascot was introduced in the 70s?

Here's a site that says "the venerable “Papa Bear” triple cheeseburger . . . . I would’ve gotten the “Papa Bear,” but it’s not listed on the menu, and no one mentioned that it was still being served until after I’d eaten. (A&W used to have the Papa, Mama and Baby Bear burgers, in descending order of size.) "
https://www.leoweekly.com/2006/04/di...a-dying-breed/
  #24  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:56 AM
gkster is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 5,286
Missed the edit window to clarify that I know it was 1966 - 1968 in Texas because I wasn't living in the US at the time and the trips to TX were a big treat. After those trips I didn't return to the US until the 80s.
  #25  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:48 AM
jz78817 is online now
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Under Oveur & over Unger
Posts: 12,486
Quote:
Originally Posted by 74westy View Post
A&W had Mamma burger, Poppa Burger, Baby burger and Teen burger but no "bear" in the names. There was the Root-bear mascot but that was later as I recall. The burger family has been resurrected, at least in Canada, as a kinda nostalgia thing.
I’d really like to know who thought “Teen sauce” was a good name for a condiment.
  #26  
Old 11-03-2019, 02:49 AM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 35,247
ISTR a Midwestern A&W competitor which also had a cartoony bear mascot. Like a polar bear in a blue sweater and maybe a blue stocking cap.
  #27  
Old 11-03-2019, 08:35 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,564
Quote:
Originally Posted by Skywatcher View Post
ISTR a Midwestern A&W competitor which also had a cartoony bear mascot. Like a polar bear in a blue sweater and maybe a blue stocking cap.
Did it look like this?
  #28  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:37 AM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 35,247
Quote:
Originally Posted by ftg View Post
Did it look like this?
No, more like the ICEE bear but wearing all blue and definitely a root beer mascot.
  #29  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:49 AM
Skywatcher's Avatar
Skywatcher is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Somewhere in the Potomac
Posts: 35,247
I want to say Frostie but I can't find any evidence that they used any mascot other than the ice skater guy.
  #30  
Old 11-03-2019, 11:54 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan's Avatar
Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
zymolosely polydactile
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Slithering on the hull
Posts: 27,451
The "Golden Bear" restaurant song:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ofb4o34WtE8
  #31  
Old 11-03-2019, 12:08 PM
Northern Piper is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: The snow is back, dammit!
Posts: 29,954
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
A&W's are easy to find in Montreal. There's one about 100 meters from where I'm sitting right now.

I have vague childhood memories of visiting one in the suburbs west of the city circa 1974. They had carhops on roller skates.
Yes, I remember sitting in the car as a wee Piper and the girls (always girls) rollerskating our order to the car and putting the tray on the window.

Meant we were in the Big City!
__________________
"I don't like to make plans for the day. If I do, that's when words like 'premeditated' start getting thrown around in the courtroom."
  #32  
Old 11-03-2019, 12:35 PM
Guest-starring: Id!'s Avatar
Guest-starring: Id! is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 4,263
Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
Their song was on their napkins, along with the music.
Interesting.

At least once and more often twice a month I'll maow down a Mozza Burger and (high quality!) fries at my local A+W, which recently completed a fancy-ass reno. Miss the drive-in style with the roller-skate waitresses. There's four locations left here - another one at a local food court always has the largest lineups, and usually a five or six customer wait at the local one, so I figure with their re-vamped healthier menu they're, well, at least thriving.

Ah, also miss the good ole Canadian A+W Root Bear. Catchy number to whistle.
  #33  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:05 PM
Jophiel's Avatar
Jophiel is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Location: Chicago suburbia
Posts: 19,475
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
It's hard to see, but I think that menu has a "Papa Golden Bear burger" but not a Mama Bear or Baby Bear Burger. Although maybe there was a kids' menu?
The Mama Bear was the Garden Salad and Baby Bear had Chicken Snacks. Also, each had their own breakfast item.

Not exactly as the OP (and that seems to have been a different restaurant entirely) but I thought close enough to possibly match 40+ year old memories of a restaurant menu.
  #34  
Old 11-03-2019, 01:16 PM
Aspenglow's Avatar
Aspenglow is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Oregon
Posts: 4,251
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chefguy View Post
That's how I remember it. Loved me some A&W and also Arctic Circle, neither of which are seen much these days unless you're in Utah or Idaho (for AC). Only 3 A&Ws in the Portland area. We used to cruise "the gut" in Anchorage, drinking root beer out of the quart cone-shaped containers.

I'm actually surprised that either franchise is still able to compete with McD or the others. Perhaps they've gone on the cheap with ingredients like the big guys in order to keep their doors open.
LOL, you and I must be the last people on earth who remember Arctic Circle outside of Idaho and Utah residents. My mother used the local library as her child minder when I was a kid, and many's the night when she worked late and dinner was from the Arctic Circle just down the street.

I haven't been to one since I was a pre-teen, but I blame them for a lifelong addiction to fry sauce.
  #35  
Old 11-03-2019, 10:54 PM
Spoons is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Lethbridge, Alberta
Posts: 18,378
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan Ekers View Post
I have vague childhood memories of visiting one in the suburbs west of the city circa 1974. They had carhops on roller skates.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Yes, I remember sitting in the car as a wee Piper and the girls (always girls) rollerskating our order to the car and putting the tray on the window.
I remember one such A&W in Toronto, with the tray on the window and roller-skating carhops. It was a treat to go there when I was a child.

Some years ago, I was flying out of Toronto Pearson. An A&W had just opened in the domestic departures, and to celebrate the opening, every customer would get a small stuffed Root Bear. Well, I needed lunch anyway, so with time to kill before my flight, I got a meal, and a Root Bear. He's not very big--he could fit inside a pop can--but he's a genuine Root Bear. I still have him.
  #36  
Old 11-04-2019, 08:11 AM
ftg's Avatar
ftg is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Not the PNW :-(
Posts: 20,564
There's still one "old timey" carhop drive-in in Atlanta: The Varsity. Here's an article from last year when they celebrated their 90th year. Note the bit on the 87 year old carhop guy. Been working there 70 years. So not all guys even back in the 50-60s.

One word of advice: this is a place for grease lovers only. If you like your arteries, you'll hate this food. It is really quite disgusting if you have any sort of developed palate.

(The Varsity has more locations than the original now. Those don't seem to "count".)
  #37  
Old 11-04-2019, 10:04 AM
MrAtoz is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Posts: 1,634
I remember the Golden Bear restaurant in the relatively small city of Kokomo, Indiana, where I grew up. I had no idea that it was a chain; I always thought it was unique to Kokomo.

I loved that place as a kid; we used to go there for breakfast every Sunday after church. I remember almost getting into a fist fight with some guy at school who said that their food sucked.
  #38  
Old 11-04-2019, 02:52 PM
Limmin's Avatar
Limmin is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2018
Posts: 182
Yes, A&W. I used to go to the place that was half A&W / half KFC, in Shoreline, WA where I was raising my son. He'd just drink the root bear...it's still awesome...and I usually had a cheeseburger.

Not quite to my taste. They were dry and a bit blackened, and the mustard made them bitter. I usually felt a bit bad afterwards so we only went there once in a while. (This was between 2010 and 2015.)

I do remember also going to the A&W in southern Wisconsin in the 70's, where they definitely had Papa, Mama and baby burgers, which my big brother always had. I just drank the root beer

Last edited by Limmin; 11-04-2019 at 02:53 PM.
  #39  
Old 11-05-2019, 08:25 AM
kferr is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: 51.3180N, 0.7300W
Posts: 2,205
I grew up in Mt. Pleasant IA in the late 60's and going to A&W was a big treat. I see there is still one there, but apparently part of a BP station now. Is that common?
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:22 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@straightdope.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Copyright © 2019 STM Reader, LLC.

 
Copyright © 2017