Local businessman Eddie Khoury will open the first of three A&W restaurants in a shopping center planned near the Pont Des Mouton exit on Interstate 49. 

A Lafayette businessman will open the first of three A&W restaurants in a shopping center planned for north Lafayette.

Eddie Khoury, who owns and operates the CC’s Coffee House in Carencro and convenience stores and restaurants, will open the A&W location in a development that’s been in the planning stages for some time southeast of the Pont Des Mouton exit on Interstate 49.

The shopping center remains in the design phase, he noted, and has changed from its original plans. A convenience store recently opened on the site, but Khoury said the unnamed development could feature two 8,000-square-foot buildings that will be a boardwalk-type design along the pond on the south side of the property.

An Agave Mexican Grill and Cantina will not open there, he said.

The A&W, which will be the only one currently in Louisiana, will be a free-standing building in the development, he said. Locations are the other two restaurants have not been finalized.

“A&W Root Beer is a well-recognized name, and I was surprised the restaurant chain wasn’t already in Louisiana,” Khoury said. “When I went around town talking about opening up an A&W here, I kept hearing stories about ‘My grandparents used to take me’ or ‘My parents used to take us there.’ I like that it’s something unique and I wanted to bring it to Louisiana.”

A&W is a fast-food restaurant that offers hamburgers, hot dogs and French fries but also root beer floats. Last year the company marked 100 years since opening its first location.

The franchise is one of the hotter ones in the country, according to a report from QSR Magazine, partly because it has reduced its royalties for new franchisees. Last month it reported double-digit increases in sales from a year ago, with some locations doubling their sales, while stores in smaller markets have flourished.

Sales are up despite COVID-19, even in smaller markets without delivery access. 

“I am entrepreneurial in nature, and I’m always looking for new opportunities,” said Khoury, a native of Jordan who first arrived in the U.S. when he moved to New York at age 17. “I like to think outside the box, find a niche or something a bit different. A&W is something different.”

Acadiana Business Today: Planned shopping center at Pont Des Mouton exit still on, will include A&W restaurant; Borden Dairy sold for $340M to new investors

Email Adam Daigle at adaigle@theadvocate.com.