“It makes all the sense in the world to be there,” said Chris Falle, director of development — Canadian division with Dairy Queen Canada. “It’s just we can’t get there fast enough.”
The Dairy Queen (DQ) franchise that once operated in the Valley Mall closed seven and half years ago. The mall was undergoing changes at the time and the food court was being closed.
Falle said the restaurant had performed well and there had been an opportunity to relocate it within the mall, but the franchisee would have faced a significant reinvestment to reopen.
Closing it was the right decision, he said.
But now the company wants to make a return to the city with one of its new DQ Grill and Chill restaurants.
Falle calls it “DQ 2.0” and describes it as a step out of the traditional fast food to a quick casual dining experience.
The company has toured the west coast as part of its strategy work. He said they haven’t approached the previous owner as they are looking to come back and start fresh and with a DQ purpose build.
It’s all part of their plan for the province that involves a build-out from St. John’s. The company opened restaurants in Paradise two weeks ago and in Southlands in October. They are in negotiations for locations on Blackmarsh Road and Kenmount Road, and the final phase would involve Conception Bay South and Stavanger Drive.
Besides Corner Brook Dairy Queen has its eye on Stephenville, Grand Falls-Windsor and Gander.
“For Corner Brook we’re ready to go right now.”
The company is 100 per cent franchised, so now it just needs to find the right person with the right mix of food experience and the dollars to invest. That would be $1.2 million to be exact.