Skip to Main Content

Joliet, Illinois: Site of World's First Dairy Queen

According to DQ historians, a humble storefront in Joliet on old Route 66 was the site of the World's First Dairy Queen in June 1940. No longer serving ice cream, but there's a tiny plaque.

501 N. Chicago St., Joliet, IL
North side of downtown. On the west side of Hwy 53/N. Chicago St., at the intersection of Ohio St. A small, oval plaque mounted to the left side of the front of the building identifies it as the "Original Dairy Queen."
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Site of World's First Dairy Queen

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.

Site of World's First Dairy Queen

The auto insurance agency appears to have closed and the building appears to currently be abandoned.

[Joe, 03/02/2024]

The building may be abandoned, but the tiny Dairy Queen plaque on its front is still there.

Dairy Queen plaque.

First Dairy Queen

The Hispanic church has changed to an auto insurance agency within the original DQ building.

[Jon Morgan, 10/11/2015]
Site of World's First Dairy Queen

Just an advisory, there is a Hispanic church in this building now...there is a small plaque on the side of the building stating that DQ was once there.

[Lois, 07/11/2013]

First Dairy Queen.

Site of World's First Dairy Queen

The president and CEO of Dairy Queen International was in Joliet as landmark status was conferred on the the building that housed the world's first DQ. Some believe that a store in Kankakee deserves the honor, but Dairy Queen historians say that the Joliet location -- which opened June 22, 1940 -- was the first to use the Dairy Queen name. Today even the smallest American towns, bypassed by other fast food chains, usually have at least one DQ. Joliet has three, but none of them are in the original building, which is now a storefront church and no longer identified as a Dairy Queen. To aid in its recognition, the building will have an historical plaque placed by Joliet, and DQ will install a plaque in the sidewalk.

[ Team, 05/24/2011]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Gigantar: Giant Electric GuitarGigantar: Giant Electric Guitar, Joliet, IL - < 1 mi.
Stand on Brick 66Stand on Brick 66, Joliet, IL - < 1 mi.
Old Joliet PrisonOld Joliet Prison, Joliet, IL - < 1 mi.
In the region:
Self-Made Man, Batavia, IL - 25 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create Your Own Bizarre Road Trips! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Illinois Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum, Gibsland, Louisiana (May 20-26, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings