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Westbrook Dairy Queen take-out window 1950s



The Dairy Queen soft-serve formula was first developed in 1938 and the first Dairy Queen store was opened in 1940 in Joliet, Illinios.  It became a popular dessert and quickly this shop branched out to other locations.  The chain soon started to use a  franchise system to expand its operations, going from ten stores in 1941 to one hundred by 1947, 1,446 in 1950, and 2,600 in 1955.  

In 1951, the Dairy Queen arrived in Westbrook!  I believe it was one of the first  DQs in Maine at that time.  It was owned by Marie and Milo Vacchiano and quickly became  a popular meeting place on hot summer evenings and after ball games.  It  only offered  walk-up service and was open only during the summers; during the winter the owners went to Florida.

Bob & Arline Patten later bought the business and the building was remodeled in 1967,  and again in 1980 after a fire swept through the upper part of the building. At the time of the 1980 remodeling, the Pattens created a small eat-in area and in  2001 it became a DQ Chill & Grill where hot foods are served.  It is now open year round and continues to be a very popular spot after Little League games.

Renovated Dairy Queen, 1971
DQ Chill & Grill 2020

All photographs and information taken from Westbrook Historical Society archives, unless otherwise noted.
References:American Journal archives
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