Bypass Road Dairy Queen closes after 17 years

rarriaza@vagazette.com

After nearly two decades serving up cold treats, Williamsburg’s only Dairy Queen closed its doors late last month.

“When the (ice cream) mix ran out, that was the end of it,” said co-owner Ann Campbell.

Ann Campbell opened the Dairy Queen franchise on Bypass Road with her husband Mark Campbell in 2001 with the goal of giving Williamsburg area families and visitors a fun place to gather in the evenings and on weekends, she said.

“We’ve really, really enjoyed it, our customers have been fantastic,” she said. “When we opened it, we really wanted a family business here people could come late with their kids because there’s not a lot of places where tourists can go with their kids late in the evening.”

Campbell declined to provide a reason for the restaurant’s closure. Jim Noel, York County’s economic development director, was also unable to give a reason for the closure. According to Dairy Queen’s website, store franchises are granted for a period of 20 years.

The Bypass Road Dairy Queen isn’t the first to close in the area recently. In 2016, a Dairy Queen in York County closed after serving customers for 52 years, according to a Daily Press report. Its owner said the restaurant had reached the end of its 20-year franchise agreement with the company, and chose not to renew the contract as it would have required her to tear down the existing building and construct a $1.2 million modern Dairy Queen store in its place, according to the report.

Campbell said the restaurant fostered a loyal customer base among the community and hosted its fair share of special moments, including a marriage proposal on the premises last year.

“One of the things that was so meaningful was seeing families come in and give their babies their first taste of ice cream,” she said.

The Campbells are now looking to lease the 932-square-foot property. According to York County’s property information database, the property has been owned by Mark Campbell since July 1999.

There are two other Dairy Queens in Newport News, according to the store locator on the company’s website, along with more stores across Hampton Roads. For more information about Dairy Queen, visit dairyqueen.com/us-en.

Mark and Mary Beth Levy, owners of Kitchen Tune-Up of Williamsburg, recently won the company’s National Customer Service Award at its annual convention and 30th anniversary celebration.

Kitchen Tune-Up is a South Dakota-based kitchen and bath remodeling company with locations across 32 states.

The Levy family launched their York County-based business in 2005, and were selected for the award based on positive customer feedback to Kitchen Tune-up’s headquarters, according to the release.

“This means so much to us,” said Mark Levy, who also serves as the vice president of the company’s advisory council. “Being recognized by the franchise system for our commitment to providing the best experience possible to our clients is encouraging, and we are looking forward to continuing our success with Kitchen Tune-Up.”

At the annual three-day convention, the company brings together each of its franchisees and awards them in categories including performance, customer service and project competition, according to a news release.

For more information, visit kitchentuneup.com.

Abbitt Realty has announced that William and Mary alum Olyvia Salyer has joined the firm’s Williamsburg office as its newest Realtor.

Salyer is a Peninsula native, and is returning to the area from New York City, where she worked in marketing, sales and corporate event management for the past six years, according to a news release. She will be responsible for real estate sales in Williamsburg, James City County and across the Tidewater area, according to the release.

Area real estate agency Cushman & Wakefield | Thalhimer has announced that Ryson International, Inc. leased 6,100 square feet at 300-328 McLaws Circle. Clay Culbreth, CCIM, SIOR handled the lease negotiations on behalf of the tenant.

Arriaza can be reached at 757-790-9313 or on Twitter @rodrigoarriaza0.

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