A note from Groesbeck EDC
This past Monday, January 22nd, Groesbeck lost a Southern icon. Dairy Queen had been a loved and longstanding fixture in the heart of town until that very day.
The DQ employees arrived on-site, ready to work, only to learn about the closure minutes before news trickled out to the rest of town.
So, what happened!?
DQ wasn't a locally owned company. The franchisees are based in Irving and owned about 70 locations across three states. Vasari LLC is now closing roughly half of those restaurants, most being in Texas. Last November, they filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy with debts between $10 and $50 million on the books. We couldn’t have bought enough Dilly Bars to make a dent.
Unlike our neighbors in Teague, the Groesbeck location was not on the originally published list of closures, but had the doors closed just the same. Groesbeck wasn't the only location to have that experience either.
Nothing is confirmed yet from the owners via official statement. No calls have been returned to us nor to the local press & the company website now urges contact with their attorney. The main line answering machine says the same and warns employees not to leave messages. The extensions that used to get us through to chat with humans, don't anymore. It's extra shocking because that's just not how Groesbeck rolls.
As it stands, the property is still privately owned & wrapped up in bankruptcy proceedings. The owners are unreachable and the doors are locked. For now, there's nothing The City, the EDC or anyone else can do to "make something happen" or "get something in there".
It’s tough to see a local icon close doors and it doesn’t feel good. It doesn’t express certainty but also drives home a timely point:
Even though we live as the city of Groesbeck, we are a part of and affected by other, larger business scopes. Dairy Queens have been on the decline all over and the issue is much more widespread than just Groesbeck or Limestone County. If big corporations can close locations for lack of broad support, you best believe your locally owned shops can too. In this case, there wasn’t much we could do to affect the outcome. In most others, as citizens and consumers, you have much more influence.
That's why it remains evermore important to support those business we currently have as much or more, than we look to welcome new ventures.
Businesses GO, STAY and can only GROW where they have support. The best way to show that we're ready to welcome something new is to "hold what we've got".
As we all think about that local closure, let's also reflect on how often we each make that personal choice to get out, through those local doors and show local love.
As for The Dairy Queen, what's done is done. What's going to be, is going to be...and that is going be new opportunities. Immediately, we have more opportunity to support Groesbeck’s very own. We have both Mely's downtown & Billy B's Cafe's serving evening fare. Kamdan's Cafe does a mean breakfast. Mary's is still out there serving the breakfast a lot of locals left DQ for in the first place. For lunch, ALL of our local restaurants have great burgers & most also have dessert. Though not frozen treats, don’t forget Courtside now specializing in sweets, smoothies & flavored coffees. At any rate, there are still plenty of tables in town where the early birds swap gossip & the latest town chatter over a simple cup of joe.
Once Vasari LLC's financial details are settled, the second gain for Groesbeck will be the opportunity for more life. We’ll have a highway accessible location with a drive-thru and great parking. It’s perfect for different offerings and fresh ideas to come to town. We need that. We'll all miss a good summer DQ Blizzard. There's no doubt about that, but let's also take time to think forward.
What's missing? Is it BBQ? A local ice cream shop? Something else completely out of the box entirely? What great additions can you imagine that location growing into?
It's time to take these bumps in the road as skips toward opportunity.
As we press on, don’t forget - hold what we’ve got & go support your local EVERYTHING.