DQ celebrates 60 years in Sistersville
Sixty years ago, on Feb. 12, 1954, the franchise agreement to build and operate a Dairy Queen in the town of Sistersville was signed between A. L. Brooks of Shinnston, W.Va., and Dairy Queen, Inc. The news spread quickly and within six to seven months, what was then considered to be America’s favorite ice cream store was up and running.
According to John Westbrook, the present manager at Sistersville, business is just as brisk today as it was in the beginning. Westbrook said the restaurant as changed hands seven times over the years and has seen many changes to the structure as well as the menu. Although some of the original items remain-such as their famous soft serve ice cream, their sundaes and banana splits-other items have been added over the years. Today Dairy Queen is a full service restaurant that offers everything from burgers, fries, hot dogs and onion rings to fish sandwiches and hot soups. Of course their ice cream cakes have become a favorite to many and let’s not forget the Dilly Bars that could also share the same saying with potato chips, you can’t eat just one.
Sistersville’s Dairy Queen is also a good source for local employment, including school kids who may be looking for their first job. At present there are 16 employees, including four who attend local schools. Westbrook has worked at the store for several years, starting out in the kitchen and working his way to shift supervisor, before landing the opportunity to manage the operation. Helping Westbrook with the everyday operation of the store is assistant manager Pam Camerlin, who has also been with the company for several years and has managed the store in the past.
Westbrook said the store is currently running specials in conjunction with their 60-year anniversary. He said they have brought back one of the favorite specials-the five dollar lunch deal. The five dollar deal offers a meal including a drink and an ice cream treat. He said right now they are in their winter hours which are Monday through Thursday, 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sistersville Dairy Queen is always proud to serve an all beef hot dog with the famous Dairy Queen sauce, which Westbrook says continues to be a big seller among young and old. He said, “I often hear people say, when we ask the kids where they want to go for ice cream it’s always dairy queen.” He feels the name Dairy Queen has become a name sake among families throughout the country and their reputation for a good product at a reasonable price is responsible for the longevity of the company. He said one thing he is proud of at his store is the cleanliness.
He is also proud of the store’s appearance inside and out. He said just in the past year the parking lot and drive through have been improved and the inside has added more space and another restroom. There is also an outside eating area under the gazebo.
Dairy Queen is proud to have been a part of Sistersville for the past 60 years and they look forward to continuing to serve the community the best product possible at an affordable price. “We want to invite the public to come in an celebrate with us for the remainder of the 60th anniversary year,” said Westbrook.