Fort Scott and the Chamber of Commerce celebrated its local Dairy Queen with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday morning at its new location on Highway 69 north of Wal-Mart.
Though the Dairy Queen franchise has been part of Fort Scott for many years, it now has a new appearance as a Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, offering not just treats, as it had at its previous location on National Street, but full meals as well.
Owners Dr. Rick and Karen Kellenberger became a part of the Dairy Queen franchise while their family lived in Iowa, although they did not plan to remain in that business even after coming to Fort Scott.
“I had not thoughts at all of another Dairy Queen,” Dr. Rick Kellenberger said of when they heard the Dairy Queen was for sale and risked closing. “But I didn’t want to see Fort Scott lose the franchise.”
Kellenberger with his brother and their wives invested in the business, remodeling the building and making sure it continued to provide treats to Fort Scott. But about three years ago, Kellenberger said the city of Fort Scott came to them concerning the location and plans to work on that intersection.
“There are a lot of issues with that location,” Kellenberger said.
The couple then looked for a new area they could build and in recent weeks opened the new location to the public. Kellenberger said he hopes the new, more convenient location will bring more business to Fort Scott.
“This has been a long journey,” Karen said. “There have been a lot of bumps on the road to get here.”
But the ribbon-cutting and gathering of local business leaders signaled an end to that journey and a new beginning with its opening as the Dairy Queen continues to provide services to Fort Scott.
“Thank you for your investment in the community,” chamber of commerce director Lindsay Madison said.