At long last, Blizzards and GrillBurgers have made their way back to Oxford.
A new Dairy Queen Grill & Chill (DQ) opened its doors on Friday, Sept. 10. The restaurant, located at 5046 College Corner Pike, was formerly a KFC.
Brad Huelsman, the owner of both the new DQ in Oxford and the Liberty Township location, said it was initially scheduled to open on Tuesday, Sept. 7, but low staffing and training complications pushed the grand opening back.
Of the 12 new employees who were supposed to begin training on Sept. 3, Huelsman said eight called off.
“It’s a beautiful Friday evening, so of course their grandmas are sick, they hit a deer, they aren’t feeling well,” Huelsman said. “At least they called.”
But the delay didn’t worry Huelsman – he knew whenever the DQ ended up opening, it would be flooded with customers. In fact, he had to block the entrance to the parking lot with cones so people would know the restaurant wasn’t open yet.
“Everybody’s just chomping at the bit,” Huelsman said. “Especially when we’re training and there’s cars in the parking lot, people are circling like sharks.”
Huelsman’s prediction for the grand opening’s success was correct – the line for the drive thru wrapped around the building, and the inside was filled to the brim with customers.
Oxford residents Dee and Jim Teed were among the many customers at the grand opening. The two are both avid “fans” (DQ refers to their patrons as fans rather than customers) and were thrilled to hear the new DQ was opening so close to their home.
“We’ve done a lot of traveling, and when I see a Dairy Queen on the road, I stop – whether I’m hungry or not,” Jim said. “[I’m excited] this is so close, it’s just two blocks up.”
Also in attendance for the grand opening was Ashley Johnson, a senior clinical lecturer in educational psychology at Miami University. She brought her daughters Izzy and Lucy and their friend Elizabeth.
Johnson said her kids had been eagerly looking forward to DQ opening, especially because they passed the building every morning on their way to school.
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“They’ve been looking at the sign every time we drive by, holding their breath, hoping it would be open,” Johnson said. “Finally, today was the day.”
Johnson’s kids were thrilled that the long-anticipated DQ was finally opening, which is representative of the reason Huelsman says DQ continues to be so popular – it simply makes people happy.
“Happy tastes good,” Huelsman said. “Everyone just loves it – it’s just a great product.”
Additional reporting by Asst. Campus & Community Editor Cosette Gunter and Multimedia Editor Maggie Peña.