This vintage, popular Dairy Queen is only a stone’s throw from the Church of Latter Day Saints Temple on Main Street in Mesa. I snapped this photo of the building with its glorious, old neon ice cream cone just before sundown. The minimalist Modernism building and neon sign were constructed in 1949 and both are still in near-perfect condition.
The vintage Dairy Queen logo on the lower sign, with block text and a tilted ice cream cone, was the original adopted in the 1940s. The DQ sign above, with its italicized letters and arced lines, is newer; it was first launched in 2007.
629 E. Main Street
The first Dairy Queen store opened in Joliet, Illinois in 1940. Some DQ history from the company’s website:
For more than 70 years, the DQ® system’s recipe for success has been simple. It’s been a combination of hardworking people who own and operate restaurants, and great-tasting food and tempting treats served in our establishments.
Our phenomenal story began with the 10-cent sale of a then unnamed product on August 4, 1938, in Kankakee, Illinois. A father and son partnership in Green River, Illinois, had been experimenting with a soft frozen dairy product for some time. They contacted Sherb Noble, a good friend and customer, who agreed to run the "all you can eat" trial sale at his walk-in ice cream store. Within two hours, he dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert.
Back then, food franchising was all but unheard of, but the new product’s potential made it a natural for such a system. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, there were fewer than 10 Dairy Queen® stores. However, shortly after the war, the system took off at a pace virtually unrivaled before or since. With only 100 stores in 1947, it grew to 1,446 in 1950 and then to 2,600 in 1955. Today, the DQ® system is one of the largest fast food systems in the world, with more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries.
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