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.