The Dairy Queen at 50th and France in Edina closed unceremoniously last weekend – because, on its surface, there wasn't anything particularly special about it.
But it was actually a piece of DQ history.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal says it had been a Dairy Queen location since 1949, making it one of the oldest still standing in Minnesota. The Grill & Chill (which is how the chain styles its restaurants these days) closed on New Year's Eve.
It was the franchisee's decision to shut it down, the Star Tribune notes. Why the owner decided to close is not clear. As the paper points out, nearly all Dairy Queens are franchises and not directly owned by the company.
Dairy Queen's headquarters, by the way, are also in Edina.
DQ history still alive in northern Minnesota, though
As important as the 50th and France location might have been in the history of Minnesota fast food, it's got nothing on the Dairy Queen in Moorhead.
The world-famous store also opened in 1949, but unlike its Edina cousin, it never got the Grill & Chill makeover, and has pretty much hung on its 1940s-era menu (while offering modern-day items like the Blizzard).
This means you can get treats that disappeared from Dairy Queen a long, long time ago, like Monkey Tails, Chipper Sandwiches, and Mr. Malties.
The throwback store is able to do this because it's still operating under a franchising contract that goes all the way back to its opening, according to The Associated Press. Sounds like a great deal, but it's actually the cause of, shall we say, frosty relations with corporate headquarters.
"Corporate would love for us to disappear, no question about that," owner Troy DeLeon told Serious Eats in 2015.
A company spokesman told the AP they can't promote the Moorhead store because it falls outside the dining experience DQ fans are looking for.
Despite that, the store – which operates only seasonally – draws huge crowds every time it opens in the spring.