An American brand known for its Midwest roots is taking a shot at making it in the middle of Manhattan for the first time. NY1's Jon Weinstein filed the following report.
Along a stretch of 14th Street that is already overflowing with fast food choices, a new sign is creating a stir. Dairy Queen, for many the epitome of Middle America, is set to open next week between Fifth Avenue and Sixth Avenue.
"We have 600 units in China, but yet, we have never opened in Manhattan, so we said, 'We really need to take this market on,'" said John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen.
DQ, as it's commonly known, has been around for 74 years. Gainor said despite the fierce competition here, now is the right time to bring it to Manhattan.
"It's about visibility," he said. "As you mentioned, there's a lot of competition, but once again, being an iconic American brand, we think we have an advantage."
Will New Yorkers respond to or even bat an eye at yet another food option in the city, though? NY1 asked several New Yorkers if they would go.
"Yes, I would go to a Dairy Queen because I love ice cream," said one resident.
"I've actually been wanting to go to a Dairy Queen, but the closest one is Long Island, so that's too far for me," said another.
"I don't care so much," said a third. "There's so many big box stores in New York already."
The national chain said it will provide 100 jobs to start.
There are thousands of locations across the globe, and even one already here in the five boroughs at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal, but it said the Manhattan spot will be different.
Dairy Queen will roll out its Blizzards and sandwiches, and if it goes well, it plans to expand even more.
"We want to get this one open in Manhattan, but already, we have plans for the other boroughs," Gainor said. "So I think over the next 12 to 18 months, you will see the presence of Dairy Queen really expand."
They might not be the last chain moving in. Southern chicken sandwich shop Chick Fil-A and Denny's are both reportedly eyeing locations in Manhattan.