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Dairy Queen set to return to Oklahoma City metro

The Oklahoma City metro area's first new Dairy Queen is expected to open in Moore next year.
by Steve Lackmeyer Published: August 30, 2013

Dairy Queen is returning to the Oklahoma City metro after a decadelong absence, with the first store set to open in Moore by mid-2014.

The operator, David Jones, already owns Schlotzky's restaurants in Midwest City and Moore, and is in negotiations with Fritts Family Farms to build his first Dairy Queen at SW 19 and Telephone Road.

Jones said the $1.9 million restaurant will be a modern “Grill and Chill,” which features a full menu offering of burgers, chicken strips, salads and hot dogs, with Dairy Queen frozen desserts, and an Orange Julius.

“I grew up with Dairy Queen and Orange Julius,” Jones said. “I worked in an Orange Julius at Sooner Fashion Mall as a kid. We all went to the Dairy Queen in Moore. It was part of the fabric of our little society. When you said Dairy Queen, it was synonymous with apple pie, baseball and Americana.”

Central Oklahoma was once a bastion for the ice cream shops, with Dunn's Dairy Queen having started up the 17th franchise in the country in 1947 and growing the operation to 31 stores in the region.

The operation was considered one the chain's most successful franchises in the country when the central Oklahoma stores were sold to Houston investors in 1988.

That deal quickly soured over licensing fees and buyout conditions, and the operation went into bankruptcy.

The stores vanished from the Oklahoma City area by the mid-1990s, though the old buildings can still be spotted along May Avenue across from State Fair Park and along Lincoln Boulevard just north of the state Capitol.

A Texas couple attempted to revive the brand with stores in 1999, but they also disappeared within a couple years.

Jones' family lives in Moore and is involved with their current restaurants on a daily basis. They took shelter when tornadoes battered Moore in May, and see the opening of a Dairy Queen as a way to give the community a boost.

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by Steve Lackmeyer
Business Reporter
Steve Lackmeyer is a reporter and columnist who started his career at The Oklahoman in 1990. Since then, he has won numerous awards for his coverage, which included the 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, the city's Metropolitan...
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At a glance

About

Dairy Queen

Key dates in Dairy Queen history

1940: First Dairy Queen store opens in Joliet, Ill.

1949: Dairy Queen introduces malts and shakes.

1958: The Dairy Queen/Brazier food products are introduced.

1968: The Buster Bar Treat unveiled.

1973: Say the word “Scrumpdillyishus!” and get a Peanut Buster Parfait for 49 cents.

1985: More than 175 million Blizzard Treats sold in its first year.

1987: Dairy Queen Inc. buys Orange Julius.

1998: Berkshire Hathaway buys Dairy Queen for $585 million.

2013: Dairy Queen system includes more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States and 19 other countries.

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