#tsbreakaway: A&W, Petaling Jaya – Are We Ready to Let Go?

#tsbreakaway: A&W, Petaling Jaya – Are We Ready to Let Go?

A&W Petaling Jaya

Any Malaysian child born in the 1980s and grew up in the 1990s would remember vividly the advertisement in the television singing, “Mozza burger… Mozza burger!“. Well, myself included. That advertisement shows how famous A&W was back then as compared to KFC and McDonald’s. One of the iconic landmarks in Petaling Jaya is A&W Petaling Jaya, being the second outlet to open in Malaysia.

A&W PJ, the first drive-in fast food outlet in Malaysia.
A&W PJ, the first drive-in fast food outlet in Malaysia.

Sentimental memories from younger days

How A&W affects me as an adult? Well, it all lies in the memories that I could gather from my happier days with A&W.

Back when I was still a kid, my family used to bring the whole family to A&W at the Shah Alam Lake Gardens. The restaurant was very huge and it was facing the vast Shah Alam Lake Gardens. Going to A&W in Shah Alam is like going for a walk in the park, literally. Nevertheless, that outlet had been closed for years, although the rusting signboard can still be seen as one exited the Federal Highway into the city centre.

There is also the story of my relationship with the Great Root Bear who is the official mascot of A&W. One day, I was walking beside the A&W and I told my parents that I wanted the Great Root Bear’s punching bag. They thought I was joking, so I decided to sulk and threw tantrum. After a long negotiation session, my parents decided to buy the Great Root Bear punching bag to calm me down. It was the happiest moment of my life. I punched the bear everyday until I found something else to play with.

Going here is like entering a time warp.
Going here is like entering a time warp.
The main 'star' of A&W...
The main ‘star’ of A&W…

A&W Petaling Jaya’s unique concept

There is also the Petaling Jaya outlet. After the Shah Alam outlet was closed down, my parents brought me to the Petaling Jaya outlet. So, one day, I asked my dad “Dad, why is it that the Petaling Jaya’s outlet is different from the Shah Alam’s outlet?“. He told me that “A&W Petaling Jaya is one of the oldest outlets in Malaysia“. He also told me that A&W Petaling Jaya is also “the first fast food chain to have a drive-in concept“.

Drive-in?“, I asked. And he pointed to the cars parked outside the restaurant, with trays attached to their car windows. “Yes, son. You park your car outside. A waiter will come and take your order. After that, they will give you the tray and you attach the tray to the car window. You can then eat in the comfort of your car. Interesting, right?“, my dad explained.

'Drive-in only'. A concept of the past.
‘Drive-in only’. A concept of the past.

However, just like humans who constantly changed as we grew up, so does my fond memories with A&W. As development took place, a lot of things changed. The A&W in Shah Alam was closed down. In fact, many A&W outlets were closed due to the lack of profit. While the Petaling Jaya outlet remains open, the drive-in concept is no longer in place.

Read my article on Pulau Ketam and why you should visit the island here.

A&W Petaling Jaya to be demolished?

Rumour has it that A&W Petaling Jaya is counting its days and the land may be used for development. How true the rumour is, I do not know. I just hope that it is just another rumour which will make us think and aware of what is happening to our surroundings.

A&W Petaling Jaya being squeezed by the surrounding development.
A&W Petaling Jaya being squeezed by the surrounding development.

One thing for sure, Singapore has no A&W anymore. As for Malaysians, can we wipe the nostalgia of hearing the Mozza burger advertisement, eating Coney dog or drinking the famous root beer? Just go to A&W Petaling Jaya for this quaint outlet will make you feel like you have entered a time warp. Go while it is still there, while we can still make new nostalgia.

One day, the place might be non-existence. A&W Petaling Jaya will only become a part of our memories.

Are we prepared to let go of our nostalgia for the sake of profit and development?

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Thank you to Tourism Selangor for organizing the event, Canon for the camera loaned to me, and each and everyone who had contributed to the awesome experience. This is entry #2 for #TSBreakAway. 

This article was first published in 2013 and updated in 2018. 

It is now confirmed that A&W Petaling Jaya will be closed down for re-development (2018). Check the news in The Star here.

7 Replies to “#tsbreakaway: A&W, Petaling Jaya – Are We Ready to Let Go?”

    1. Their waffles + ice cream is the best! Just like the Pulau Ketam’s fried ice cream. Haha.

      Yeah, I really hope this one won’t close anytime soon [or won’t close at all]. Last year, I heard that KUB was closing one branch after another. But this one, definitely is different from the others.

      It has the soul, the fondness with the society who has been living and grew up in PJ & its surrounding areas…

  1. They still serves the best waffle + with ice cream, coney dog and root beer float. Nothing can beat them! Had a late night supper with my aunt and cousin right after an international jazz show and surprisingly, its full! Hoping that PJ outlet will run as usual in the future.

    1. I hope for the same thing Zara. It is a shame if they close the outlet for redevelopment. This place is so close to the hearts of people growing up around the area.

  2. Pingback: Khairul | #TSBreakaway

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