Once upon a time this building was a Dairy Queen; since it closed in 2015, it has been used for a couple of other businesses, including Fisher’s Tips & Chips and Bird’s Eye View. It was also one of a handful of fast-food ice cream joints in Michigan that featured a mini golf course out in the back. This particular mini golf was characterized by its dinosaur figures.

Most Americans do love their ice cream. Dairy Queen became famous for the soft-serve formula, squiggled out on a cone with the signature swirl on top. John Fremont and his son Alex developed the original formula in 1938. It really took off when they coaxed a friend, Sherb Noble, to sell the ice cream in his Kankakee, Illinois store...whether skeptical or not, Sherb sold over 1,600 servings of ice cream that very first day.

That was all the encouragement they needed. In 1940, they opened the very first Dairy Queen at 501 North Chicago Street in Joliet, Illinois. By 1941 there was a total of ten stores. That number grew to 100 by 1947, 1,446 in 1950, and 2,600 in 1955. As far as that very first DQ in Joliet, it finally closed down in the 1950s.

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Michigan has a good number of DQs throughout the state, the first DQ in the Upper Peninsula was in Houghton in Keweenaw County in 1953. You can read about that HERE.

The particular DQ you are about to see in the gallery below isn’t anything spectacular...it’s just empty, as it waited for months before someone took it over. But the mini-golf out back looked like it was cool.

It closed sometime during 2015-2016.

Deserted Dairy Queen in Niles, 2015


Abandoned One-Room Schoolhouse, Byron Center

Abandoned (Now Demolished) Detroit House of Corrections

Abandoned Mining Building, Upper Peninsula

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