Dairy Queen buildings waiting on changes
Court to review sales on Aug. 8

By DAVE RANK - Daily News

July 30, 2014

WEST BEND - The sales of the two vacant Dairy Queen restaurants in West Bend earlier this month are pending until the circuit court judge gives a final approval.

That approval is anticipated next week, Port Washington State Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Schowalter said Tuesday.

“Aug. 8 is set for the court to review the sales transaction and confirm it,” Schowalter said.

Former local DQ owners Dan and Ashley Schuster closed their restaurants in January due to declining business. The sites then went into foreclosure with Port Washington State Bank as the primary mortgage holder. The DQs were sold in a sheriff’s auction about two weeks ago.

The south DQ property at 1200 S. Main St., across the street from the West Bend City Hall and Police Department, was purchased by West Bend Real Estate Investments LLC, represented by Waukesha attorney Tim Randall.

Randall is chief legal counsel and chief development officer for Wisconsin Hospitality Group LLC, which operates 120 Pizza Hut and Applebee’s Grill & Bar restaurants in Wisconsin. It also owns the WingStreet brand.

Randall said he was acting as agent for an entirely different client in the DQ sale. “Wisconsin Hospitality Group has nothing to do with the Dairy Queen property,” he said.

A group of investors formed West Bend Real Estate Investments, Randall said. “They’re totally separate people (from Wisconsin Hospitality Group).” The two business groups do not even know each other, Randall said.

He declined to name the DQ site investors or what they want to do with the South Main Street site.

“They asked that they not be identified,' he said. 'They do have plans for the building. They’re just not ready to release what they’re doing.”

Pending court approval, the South Main Street property is being bought for $550,001. The west DQ property was purchased by Port Washington Bank for $220,000, the listed price.

“The bank was the buyer for the moment,” Schowalter said. “We will be selling it.”

Schowalter said the bank has received a few informal inquiries on the property, “but we have nothing pending, yet.”

After the court approves the sales, Schowalter said, “we’ll probably pursue a couple of those casual offers. We’ll update the (property) valuations and see where it goes.”

The restaurant equipment in both building were not included in the sales, Schowalter said.

The bank will discuss the potential sale of equipment with the South Main Street DQ buyer next week, the bank president said. “We may have an equipment auction, if we don’t have a buyer.”

Before the closings, Dairy Queen had a presence in the city for 61 years.