Dairy Queen opened a “Grill and Chill” restaurant in Jacksonville Feb. 17. It is equipped with free Wi-Fi, several electric outlets and three flat-screen televisions broadcasting sports and news.
Inside and out, the entire building has been remodeled and the dining area has all new furnishings.
“We have plenty of space for people to come and hang out in here. And we have a patio area with even more seating outside,” said general manager William Dingle.
The patio has two fire heaters to keep customers warm when it is cold outside.
The new Dairy Queen is located close to campus in the old Legghorn’s Cafe building next to Wendy’s.
But more than just the building’s signs have been changed.
Dingle said he is excited that Dairy Queen has opened in Jacksonville so local students can take advantage of the new features and eat good chicken, burgers and ice cream. The restaurant is also welcoming students as employees.
“We love working with young people from the university and high school,” he said.
Meghan Welch, a JSU student and member of the Marching Southerners, said the biggest portion of employees are high schoolers and JSU students.
Welch said the managers are happy to schedule shifts around school responsibilities.
“There was a bit of a mix up at one point. I had talked to the senior assistant manager about coming in at 6 p.m. instead of 5 on Wednesdays. She said it would be no problem. However, the next week, I was still scheduled at 5. So I spoke with the assistant manager on duty and he straightened it out for me without any repercussions or complaints,” she said.
Shift-leader Katie Knight said the new restaurant is still hiring.
“We really need morning-shift workers, but we’re accepting applications for any position,” Knight said. Behind the counter, there were several employees taking orders and cooking food, but the number of customers eating significantly outnumbered the staff.
Since opening last Wednesday at 5 p.m., the new Dairy Queen has stayed busy. The drive through is rarely empty and customers eating inside are having to park in the overflow lot behind the building, according to employees.