Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dairy Queen is Coming to NYC, But Do We Care?

Whoopie! Yeah! At last! We all scream for Ice Cream! Well, I'm not so sure. The CEO for Dairy Queen, John Gainor, announced recently that the company would soon be moving into the NYC market, opening up three to four stores over the next year or so. Ho-hum. Dairy Queen ain't what it used to be. If DQ, as I once referred to it, was still the Ice Cream only shop that it used to be many moons ago, then I might have some interest, but honestly it's become rather run-of-the-mill if you ask me. They are basically now a fast food restaurant that also sells Ice Cream, which to me has ruined whatever nostalgic feelings I had about the place.
For most of my childhood my family vacationed in Cape Cod where my Dad's parents lived, and right around the corner from their house was an old-fashioned styled DQ. What I mean by that is Dairy Queen used to be the drive-in style of Ice Cream shop where you would walk up to a window to order. Of course times change but memories don't. DQ used to be a special treat, a once in a while event that occurred maybe two or three times a summer. You know back when chain restaurants weren't on every damn corner. We'd be on the beach all day, then drive over to Chatham to ride the go-carts, and after eating a delicious Italian specialty from my Grandmother, we'd all head on over to DQ to wait on a ridiculously long line. Really DQ wasn't all that special, it was just custard on a cone for me, maybe covered in sprinkles. Sometimes the simplest things turn out to be the best things. Now if you wanted the best Ice Cream in Cape Cod you went to a place called Sundae School, an old-fashioned soda shop that wasn't too far from the house either. That was even more of a treat.
So what am I getting at? Am I saying that Dairy Queen shouldn't come to NYC? No, of course not. What I am asking is do we really need another fast food restaurant? To that I say no because that's what Dairy Queen has turned into, Ice Cream has become an afterthought for them. They have Burgers, Fries, Chicken Strips, Combo Meals, Premium Salads (Ha, premium,) and baskets of Popcorn Shrimp. They no longer focus on Ice Cream, and that seems a little disappointing.
This announcement also comes on the heels of Mayor Bloomberg's fight to reduce the size of soft drinks sold at places like Dairy Queen. If there is any silver lining here it's that DQ has actually already reduced the sizes of some of their offerings. For instance due to customer requests they decreased the serving sizes of their famous (or is it infamous) Blizzard Ice Cream treat.
First up will be a location at the Staten Island Ferry terminal in St. George (Why they chose that location is anyones guess,) then soon after somewhere in Manhattan. Ok, maybe I'll get a Blizzard at some point with Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in it...

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