Grafton Dairy Queen location closes

By Melanie Boyung - Special to the News Graphic

Jan. 14, 2020

GRAFTON — The Dairy Queen in Grafton closed this month, leaving a vacancy next to the Citgo on Port Washington Road.

The Dairy Queen closed on Jan. 1. According to signs posted at the business, the owner of the franchise retired, leading to the business closing. The Dairy Queen’s phone line has been disconnected, and messages left with Dairy Queen on Facebook and Dairy Queen corporate for more information were not returned.

The Dairy Queen location at the corner of Port Washington Road and Highway 60 is listed as pre-existing nonconforming in the village of Grafton's zoning. Currently, the village does not allow drive-thru establishments in the Port Washington corridor area. The Dairy Queen was already there when that zoning was placed in effect, however, so the business was grandfathered in.

According to Jessica Wolff, the village’s director of community development, the grandfathered zoning lasts for a year after the Dairy Queen’s closure.

“If it remains closed for 12 consecutive months, the grandfathering would end,” Wolff said.

Within the next year, however, the pre-existing zoning holds, and someone else could come in and restart the eatery just as it was before, including the drive-thru.

Wolff said a new Dairy Queen business, or something similar, would just require occupancy and conditional use permits to get going. After the 12 months, that location will adopt the surrounding zoning, which allows for a restaurant there, but not a drive-thru.