Manhattan’s only Dairy Queen has permanently closed
Dairy Queen has permanently closed its only store in Manhattan after a six-year run, according to representatives from the company. The grates at the two-story Blizzard maker near Union Square have been down since May, and Time Out confirmed with the company that the owner of the franchise closed the shop shortly after that. Dairy Queen has two additional locations on Staten Island and a third at the Bay Plaza Shopping Center in the Bronx, though it’s not clear at this time whether the company plans to reopen another location in Manhattan.
The ice cream and fast food chain, ever-popular in the Midwest, received a grab-bag of responses in its six-year run in Manhattan. In the weeks after it opened on West 14th Street, near Sixth Avenue, Dairy Queen was swarmed. Not just with lines of customers hungry for nostalgia, but also with press from local food media. Grub Street pleaded with New Yorkers not to shop at the ice cream chain, urging them to patron the city’s “roster of independent, world-class ice cream shops” instead. Elizabeth Weiss at the New Yorker likewise wondered how the two-story “strip-mall staple” would impact local, independent businesses nearby. And, on a visit to the chain shortly after its Manhattan debut, Eater critic Robert Sietsema found that the restaurant chain’s iconic Blizzards, for all their nostalgia, were “awful” and often arrived half-melted.
Though Dairy Queen has three remaining outposts in NYC, the company’s presence has been eclipsed by other fast food brands, like Taco Bell and Krispy Kreme, which have recently announced ambitious plans to grow their presences in the five boroughs. Shortly after opening, spokesperson Dean Peters told the New Yorker that the chain had stayed out of NYC for so long due to high rent and operating costs. At the time, Peters said the brand had hopes to continue to expand into the city, though its last location opened in 2014.
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