The former Long John Silver's/A&W hybrid at Walton Avenue and Main Street will become the first of a free-standing, updated concept for A&W, which has its headquarters in Lexington.
The property at 652 East Main Street is undergoing an approximately $200,000 renovation, according to the building permit filed with the city.
The renovation is scheduled to be completed by August, in time for National Root Beer Float Day on Aug. 6, said Sarah Blasi, A&W spokeswoman.
"We're very excited about it," she said Wednesday. "We're excited to go into this neighborhood, a prime traffic location, and show off what we've been working on."
The restaurant will be one of a kind in the country, although some pieces might look familiar to A&W fans.
Since October 2013, the company has been testing the "A&W Burger — Chicken — Floats" concept in Lexington, she said. The first version opened in Fayette Mall and now two more are in buildings at Hamburg and Townley Center.
"The Main Street location will become our flagship store for this market," she said. "It's the first opportunity we've had to bring the full expression of this refreshed concept, including transforming the exterior of the building. ... We can make it look exactly how we want it to look from the get-go. It will be a very big change."
Everything from the A&W logo to the menu boards will look different, she said.
"It's the first logo change the brand has undergone in over 20 years," Blasi said. "It's a 96-year-old brand, and it takes a lot to reinvent a 96-year-old brand."
She said the restaurant would feature more upscale service, too.
"While you do order at the counter, the food's brought out to you and trash picked up for you," she said. "And you're offered beverage refills. It's taking us away from fast food and towards fast casual."
Blasi said the aesthetic and menu were "hip nostalgic, from the '50s, '60s, early '70s" with upgraded food, too.
Some of the items A&W is testing in Lexington include "a fresh, never frozen beef patty," topped to order, Blasi said. "The hot dog we're testing here is black Angus all-beef, hinge-cut, sliced down the middle, to get an awesome caramelized seared crust."
Some things won't be changing: the root beer, the frosty mugs, and drive-through aren't going anywhere.
Said Blasi, "There's nothing better than fresh root beer in a frosted mug."