It will be a strange summer for St. Michael-Albertville softball, baseball and soccer teams without its usual postgame hangout.
Dairy Queen in St. Michael – owned and operated by Fourteen Foods – remains closed after a January fire that badly damaged the chain restaurant’s kitchen and caused smoke damage throughout the building. The store was shuttered immediately after the fire and remained closed throughout the long winter.
What surprised many, though, was the lack of action at the site after the snow melted and spring finally took hold here in St. Michael.
“I kind of thought we’d see some construction on site,” said one resident. “But, no. Nothing.”
Fourteen Foods said it is committed to re-opening the store in the community. A spokesman told North Wright County Today the company “looks forward to having the active families of St. Michael and Albertville joining us again for victory ice cream. We’re just not sure when that will be.”
The picture is getting a bit clearer. St. Michael Community Development Director Marc Weigle told the city’s planning commission recently that the company is looking to tear down the existing building and acquire some of the addtional property on the site to construct a new store. Formal plans could be brought to the city as soon as the P&Z meeting in July, he hoped. Weigle and Fourteen Foods both commented work is being done with the company’s insurance company, as well, a process that could be slowing things down.
Fourteen Foods said a new store would look much like its Monticello or Rogers locations, with quick-serve counters, a larger serving area and updated seating.