DQ Grill & Chill asks for city’s OK for proposed store near ACHS

There’s apparently a DQ Grill & Chill restaurant coming to Clinton.

A company proposing to build the Dairy Queen between Walgreens and Anderson County High School on North Charles G. Seivers Boulevard has asked for approval of its plans by the Clinton Planning Commission.

The application was to be heard by the commission on Monday night (July 12), but was deferred by the commission to next month’s meeting to allow the developer more time to produce necessary documents on drainageplans.

According to plans already submitted to the city, the DQ would be built on a vacant lot fronting Seivers Boulevard that was sold by Christy Hicks last December to Atul B. Patel and Jaymin Patel.

Jay Patel was listed as the principal in the application to the city, which also listed Michael Brady Architects (MBI Companies) of Knoxville. The Patels also own the Red Roof Inn & Suites hotel on Buffalo Road behind Zaxby’s and Hardee’s, just off Interstate 75, Exit 122. Neither of the Patels could be reached for comment.

Plans for the project show a building of 2,208 square feet, with at least 32 parking spaces outside, a drive-through, and inside dining tables.

Owners of the new Dairy Queen will not be the same as the owners of DQ Chill & Grill restaurants in LaFollette, Oak Ridge, Farragut, Sevierville and Morristown. Those restaurants are owned and operated by Minnesota-based Fourteen Foods, whose spokeswoman said is not involved in plans for a Clinton store.

The new Dairy Queen also is not related to the Sinking Springs LLC development just across Seivers Boulevard, where a Starbucks and liquor store are under construction, and a Sonic drive-in will also be built nearby. One of America’s most iconic restaurant brands, Dairy Queen began making a comeback in the Knoxville area in 2016.

urteen Foods.

That company has more than 200 DQ stores and is the parent Dairy Queen company’s largest franchisee. Dairy Queen Corp. is a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

DQ Chill & Grill is a fast-casual concept that Dairy Queen introduced in 2002. They aren’t the quaint Dairy Queen ice cream stands of the past, where customers ordered from outside through a small window and ate sitting in their cars or on outdoor tables.

Instead, these stores have inside dining, where customers order at the counter and their food is delivered to their tables. The locations all have takeout windows, though, for drive-up traffic. During the pandemic, the dining rooms were closed while the drive-throughs remained open and busy.