Next time you grab yourself a soft-serve ice cream cone I want you to think about this, the very first Dairy Queen ever in the whole world was opened in a small Illinois city.

Who Doesn't Love Ice Cream In Illinois?

I will be the first to admit that ice cream is definitely my food weakness. I would eat it every day if I could. Of course, I love the Rockford area ice cream parlors like the Dairyhaus but sometimes I just need an old-school soft-serve twist cone from Dairy Queen. Speaking of DQ, did you know their origin story starts in Illinois?

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Illinois Is The Birthplace Of Dairy Queen

Way back in the summer of 1940, the very first Dairy Queen in the entire world was opened in Illinois. The location was along the Historic Route 66 in Joliet. The restaurant was a two-story building on Chicago Street. It stayed in that spot until around 1954. A man from Kankakee named Sherb Noble was the founder. He named his new business after the source of the ice cream which is a cow.

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So many people are shocked to hear that the very first Dairy Queen was right here in Joliet, in this humble little building.


When Noble opened his Joliet store in 1940, Dairy Queen primarily had two goals: selling soft-serve ice cream and rapidly expanding their franchise all over the country.

Good News About Original Dairy Queen Location In Joliet

The Joliet Area Historical Museum has acquired the building which was the home to the first Dairy Queen. They plan on turning it into a museum dedicated to that historic restaurant franchise. That would definitely be worth checking out.

Man Bundt Bakery: Small Illinois Bakery Creates Most Amazing Cakes You've Ever Seen

Every occasion that calls for cake, this is my 'go-to' spot. Sculpting the absolute coolest cakes around. A peanut-free facility, vegan-friendly and incredible.

Gallery Credit: Steve Shannon