Preparations underway for construction of Dairy Queen on Aiken’s Southside

April 13, 2019

Preparations are underway for the construction of a Dairy Queen on Aiken’s Southside.

Plans call for the fast food restaurant, which is known for its soft serve ice cream, to be located on a 1.01-acre lot on the east side of Silver Bluff Road at the Hamilton Drive intersection.

The property is next to Floyd & Green Jewelers.

Last month, Aiken City Council unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that would pave the way for the City of Aiken to annex the land and give it a General Business zoning designation.

The second reading of the ordinance and a public hearing are scheduled for City Council’s April 15 meeting.

Jim Wilkerson, owner of Wilkerson Architects LLC in Greenville, is the architect of record for Treats of Aiken LLC, which is seeking to build the Southside Dairy Queen.

During a telephone interview Thursday, Wilkerson described Treats of Aiken as a group of “seasoned Dairy Queen franchisees.”

He also said the restaurant would be a “full-blown, full-size Dairy Queen Grill & Chill.”

Under the current proposal, the building would cover more than 2,600 square feet and there would be a drive-through.

“They’re putting in an optional cooler to hold extra ice cream mix because they expect to sell so much ice cream at that location,” said Wilkerson, who was the architect for the Dairy Queen Grill & Chill at 1051 Edgefield Road in North Augusta.

Wilkerson would like to have a contractor for Dairy Queen construction project in Aiken hired by the end of this month.

“After the digging starts, it will be completed in 90 days,” he said.

During its March 12 meeting, the Aiken Planning Commission considered Treats of Aiken’s requests for annexation and zoning. The panel unanimously recommended that City Council approve them.

“We have an initial submittal of the site plan (for the Dairy Queen),” said Aiken Planning Director Ryan Bland earlier this week.

“As part of the process, they will have to get their site plan approved and that includes traffic management, parking and signage. Following approval of the site plan, they will have to obtain building permits.”

Wilkerson has been working with the South Carolina Department of Transportation on traffic and access issues.

He said that discussions, so far, had gone well.

International Dairy Queen Inc., the parent company for the Dairy Queen restaurant chain, is based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

There are thousands of Dairy Queen locations in the United States, Canada and other countries.

The first Dairy Queen store opened in 1940 in Joliet, Illinois.

A typical Dairy Queen Grill & Chill restaurant has a modern open-air grill, large wooden tables, booths, warm lighting and music.

Menu items include GrillBurgers, crispy and grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken strip baskets, salads, onion rings and French fries.