LANSING, Mich. – It was an addition that changed an already delicious food forever -- bacon on a cheeseburger.
It's now fairly common to see bacon cheeseburgers on menus, but did you know the first bacon cheeseburger can be traced back to Lansing, Michigan?
A&W Chairman Dave Mulder opened a franchise in Lansing in 1961.
The restaurant was on U.S.16, an area people had to pass through to get between Detroit and Grand Rapids. But the construction of I-96 hurt the business because potential customers were now bypassing the area.
One day, Mulder looked at a cheeseburger and had an idea.
"I thought it absolutely (would) be better with bacon," Mulder said.
So, in 1963, the bacon cheeseburger was born, forever changing burgers.
"A bacon burger became a big item in the restaurant business," Mulder said. "And everyone else stole it from us."
While there are skeptics that doubt the birthplace of the bacon cheeseburger, Mulder said he knows the burger's origin.
"That's OK, they can believe what they want," Mulder said.
A brief history of A&W
A&W celebrated its 100th anniversary in June, making it the oldest fast food chain.
The first A&W was opened in California.
The franchise is named after the last initials of business partners Roy Allen and Frank Wright.
Allen bought the recipe for the restaurant's signature root beer from a pharmacist. The cost of a frothy mug of that root beer in 1919? Just a nickel.
The franchise made it to Michigan in 1937 when an A&W opened on West Jefferson Avenue in Trenton.
The location is now a coffee and ice cream shop, but the A&W lives on.
"We have people come in that will still come in and try to order an A&W hot dog and a root beer float," said Debbie Hayes, the owner of Elizabeth Park Coffee House.