The Downtown Diary Queen

A Look Back in Time

June 22, 1940

The first Dairy Queen restaurant opened in Joliet, Illinois. Dairy Queens were located in all 48 states except for Vermont until one opened in 2016. At the end of its fiscal year, 2014 Dairy Queen reported over 6,400 stores in more than 24 countries (approximately 70% are located in the United States).

June 15, 1950

The “Triangle Dairy Queen” opened in downtown Casa Grande by owners and operators Wm P. Fisher and E.H. Mammen. The name was derived from the original shape of the plot of ground upon which the building is located. The original building was approximately 600 square feet and the sign was mounted on a pole at the property’s edge. It is believed that the only other Dairy Queen sign with the “lips design” and protruding ice cream cone is in Topeka, Kansas. January 5, 1976. Eric and Beverly Steinhoff purchased the Dairy Queen and the family operated the business for 39 years until it closed in December 2015. During the 2004 extensive remodel and land swap, the sign was incorporated into the building. The Steinhoff’s were not willing to give up their historic sign so they selected the best place on the property to showcase it. They didn’t want to alter this historic landmark so they built a new base to make the pole fit. In 2004 they were awarded a 1st Place Arizona Main Street award for Best Public/Private Partnership.

April 18, 2016

The Dairy Queen sign and the brazier reader board added in 1988 were designated by City Council as a local historic landmark.

October 24, 2016

The Historic Preservation Commission denied a request made by Dairy Queen to remove the brazier reader board and replace it with a new Grill and Chill electronic reader board. Other exterior modifications were requested to bring the property into compliance with the latest corporate standard.

December 14, 2016

The owner, Jeff Tendler, notified the Commission that Corporate had agreed to retain the brazier reader board at this location. Mr. Trendler was our best advocate to Corporate, which resulted in a preservation win for downtown Casa Grande. The new corporate changes took place in January 2017. We are extremely grateful that the exterior modifications were as minimal as possible, preserving the mid-century architecture with a nostalgic “retro” appearance for the historic downtown. During the changeover the commission acquired the “Drive Thru” and “Exit” Dairy Queen cones for possible future use. THANKS, JEFF!