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Dairy Queen Plans Blizzard Of Chicagoland Expansion With 35 New Locations

The suburbs and city could see new restaurants next year

Dairy Queen in Lincoln Park
Dairy Queen in Lincoln Park
Ashok Selvam is the editor of Eater Chicago and a native Chicagoan armed with more than two decades of award-winning journalism. Now covering the world of restaurants and food, his nut graphs are super nutty.

A blizzard of 30 to 35 Dairy Queens could head to Chicagoland by next year. That includes "several" in the city, according to Crain's. The company didn't share locations of potential stores. There are four Dairy Queens currently open in Chicago.

DQ has attempted to expand beyond soft-serve baseball helmet sundaes. They've marketed under the banner "Fan food, not fast food," and Crain's noted the growth of their Grill & Chill concept built around hot dogs, chicken strips and more. One such restaurant is open at 436 S. Wabash Ave. There are 145 DQs in the metro area, according to Crain's, and 269 in Illinois.

Back in 2008, long lines were the norm in Bucktown when DQ opened its restaurant at 1649 N. Damen Ave. The good times melted in 2010 when the restaurant closed, and it's since been taken over by The Goddess & The Grocer.