Minnesota July 12, 2017
Most People Don’t Know That One Of Summer’s Most Famous Treats Was Invented Right Here In Minnesota
On a hot summer day, there’s nothing better than beating the heat with an icy cold treat. Despite our frigid winters, Minnesota has more than a few
great ice cream shops to choose from. Many serve dozens of unique flavors and are a great place to try something new. But what about when you crave a classic? There’s one place in Minnesota that invented one of the summer’s most famous treats, and it still serves them more than 50 years later.
In 1949, Bob and Phyllis Litherland opened a Dairy Queen in Moorhead, Minnesota.
The opening came only nine years after the first DQ opened in Joliet, Illinois. Though it is one of hundreds of Dairy Queen stores across the world, the Moorhead DQ is unlike any other.
For one thing, it is the birthplace of the Dilly Bar.
If you’ve ever bitten into one of these delicious soft-serve treats, you’ve got Moorhead Dairy Queen to thank. As the story goes, a trainer visiting the store came up with the idea of creating a sort of soft-serve lollipop. He then dipped it in chocolate, prompting someone to proclaim it a "dilly." After other DQ owners caught wind of the new creation, they flocked the Moorhead store to learn how to make it.
Today, over 50 years later, the Moorhead Dairy Queen still makes its Dilly Bars - and more - on site.
Most other Dairy Queens order them from corporate. In fact, the Moorhead location makes many treats by hand, including Buster Bars and ice cream cakes. They also offer dog cones to customers who bring their canine friends. And they even make a special treat that you can’t get at any other DQ. The Chipper Sandwich is vanilla soft serve sandwiched between two chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
But Dilly Bars aren't the only reason this DQ draws crowds.
Its classic 1950s look is a huge selling point for those looking for a nostalgic experience. While many walk-up Dairy Queens have been expanded to include dining rooms, Moorhead Dairy Queen maintains the old-fashioned feel.
Unlike other stores, this one is not required to adhere to many corporate standards.
The store's contract with corporate dates back to 1949. This has allowed the current owners to avoid the upgrades, such as Orange Julius, that many other Dairy Queen owners have been forced to add. It has also preserved the store's ability to make many of its own treats and ingredients, which it still does to this day.
But just because it's a walk-up doesn't mean there's no place to sit.
After you get your order from the window, you can take a seat at a picnic table under a huge red and white umbrella. The restaurant's central location in Moorhead makes it a great spot to watch the world go by.
The Moorhead Dairy Queen is located at 24 8th Street South in Moorhead, Minnesota.
The restaurant is open seasonally every summer. Its hours are Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., Friday 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., and Sunday 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.
Have you ever been to this classic Dairy Queen? Let us know what you thought!