Written by Chris Boyle, email@example.com Wednesday, 12 June 2013 00:00
Watch out, Massapequa...there’s a “Blizzard” coming through.
The famous frosted ice cream treat, along with a plethora of other tasty menu items, are now available to Long Island residents as of 10 a.m. on June 10, when popular fast-food chain Dairy Queen held their much-anticipated grand opening in Massapequa.
First debuting in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois, Dairy Queen has since grown to more than 4,500 locations nationwide. However, this is its first Long Island-based location since the 1970’s; the chain has been absent from the island since then.
Laura Maier, owner of the brand-new Massapequa franchise, grew up in New Jersey, but has been a Long Island resident for the past 12 years. She has worked in the financial side of the health care industry most of her career, but in the back of her mind, she had always wanted to break in the fast-food business; and there was only one chain she was interested in doing so with.
“I’ve always wanted to do it, and it’s always been Dairy Queen...there’s never been another option for me,” she said. “I grew up on it, and I’ve always wanted to bring one here to Long Island.”
Located at the site of a former Burger King at 5366 Sunrise Highway near the Westfield Sunrise Mall, Maier said that when she saw the facilities, she knew it was exactly where she wanted to open her Dairy Queen.
“It was perfect,” she said. “It’s right on Sunrise Highway, it’s got good visibility, the parking is great, and the restaurant itself is huge, with seating for 85 people, plus the drive-through...it was ideal.”
One thing that Long Island in general and Massapequa in particular has an abundance of is fast food joints. However, Maier said that Dairy Queen has what it takes to stand out from the pack and entice locals to become regular customers.
“One reason I’d like to say that we will be successful is that we are a DQ Grill and Chill, which has a full line of food instead of just dessert items,” she said. “Plus, we have an Orange Julius, and our rich and creamy ice cream...you’ve got to come in and try a Blizzard.”
Dairy Queen offers a full menu bursting with options for fast-food aficionados, including burgers, fries, wraps, salads, fruit smoothies, ice cream, and what really put the chain on the map: the Blizzard, a frosty beverage combining soft-serve blended with a wide array of customer-selected ingredients such as cookies, brownies, candy and more.
Dairy Queen’s grand opening brought out folks from all over Long Island; Greg Packer of Huntington was the first person on the long line waiting to get in at 10 a.m., having been camped out by the store’s main entrance since midnight.
“We used to have Dairy Queen in Huntington, back in the late 70s, but then it closed down,” he said. “I would always see the commercials, and I would miss having it around, so I had to be here for the grand opening and I’m going to be coming here as often as I can.”
Packer certainly had plenty of time to formulate his order while patiently waiting nearly 10 hours for the doors to open.
“I took a look at the menu while I was waiting during the night,” he said. “I’m going to order a burger, a grilled cheese and, of course, some ice cream. I’m going to try a little bit of everything.”
Sarah Holmes, who was greatly anticipating getting her hands on a Blizzard, made the trip all the way from Baldwin with her mother Elizabeth and brother Nate.
“We love Dairy Queen,” she said. “Ever time we go out-of-state we have to get Dairy Queen...so when we heard that they were coming, we knew we had to be here.”
Karin Kellher is another person who took a read trip this morning for the opening, having driven over a half-hour from West Sayville. Needless to say, she was clearly enthused for some Dairy Queen.
“I was so excited...my kids were excited, my husband’s excited,” she said. “There’s just something about the ice cream. No one else is as good. I’m getting a Blizzard this morning with chocolate-covered pretzels if they have them. Otherwise, I’m going with the old stand-by: the peanut butter cup.”
Maier said that, if the Massapequa location is a success, there will be more to come for Long Island residents; the next location she is eyeing for a possible Dairy Queen is in Levittown.