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This November, Sturgeon Falls will be grilling and chilling in new Dairy Queen

New build is well-underway, on track for a late-November opening

Dairy Queen is set to open their doors in Sturgeon Falls this November. The restaurant will showcase a new design the chain has been developing for some time, and this new location will be the third region in Canada to implement the design.

Ground broke on the corner of Michaud Street and Highway 17 this May. In early June a Dairy Queen branded banner was hung from the perimeter fence.

“See you spoon,” it announced. A large image of the restaurant’s iconic red spoon centered the banner. The countdown began to grill and chill in Sturgeon Falls.

“We hope the town just really embraces having their own DQ,” said Tony Watters, the director of franchise development for Dairy Queen.

The location is scheduled to open late-November, and so far, construction is on track. Watters mentioned there were a few minor delays—“issues with the supply chain, equipment coming along”—due to the pandemic, but overall, the project is coming along well.

“I’d love to have it open today,” Watters said, “especially if the people are excited that Dairy Queen is coming, that’s amazing.”

This new location marks the first Dairy Queen between Sudbury and North Bay and is owned by the same franchisees who opened the Grill and Chill on McKeown Avenue, North Bay, in 2020.

“We’ve been working on this new design now for some time,” Watters said, noting that making any changes to the 80-year-old brand requires years of planning and strategizing.

The chain has made vast improvements to “the back of house area,” focusing on improving the efficiency of the kitchen, “redesigning top to bottom.”

“We’ve also added some cool features out front with new seating, new light fixtures,” and “we’ve changed some of the exterior colours and modernized them a little bit.”

As the above-mentioned banner suggests, “Dairy Queen is very proud of its red spoon,” Watters said, and this new location features a “huge red spoon right outside of the front door.”

“For Dairy Queen, it’s the new design,” Watters said, adding that the first Canadian version appeared in northern Alberta earlier this year. Sturgeon Falls “will be the third opening in Canada of this new design.”

The location is planning to hire between 30 and 50 staff, providing “full and part-time opportunities,” Watters said.

“To see a restaurant open is very exciting for us,” as is “seeing the new design” roll out, Watters said. “It’s very exciting for ourselves and our fans.”

Fans? “Fan is what we call our customers,” Watters clarified, a reference to the slogan “fan food, not fast food.”

“We’re very excited about the opportunity of coming to Sturgeon Falls and we hope that the fans come out and join us.”

About the Author: David Briggs

David Briggs is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering civic and diversity issues for BayToday. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada
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