By LESLIE COLLINS
September 12, 2012
The building at 2365 Independence Ave. still resembles the Dairy Queen that became a staple in Northeast for 45 years.
This summer, however, the ice cream machines sat unused, leaving area residents to find another place to satisfy their ice cream craving.
Former owners John and Esther McMurray have now officially retired, hanging up their aprons.
While patrons won’t be greeted by Esther and her signature beehive hairdo, they’ll soon be able to get their ice cream fix once again.
Historic Northeast resident Brett Williams has purchased the building and will reopen the business as the “Dairy Barn.” Dairy Barn’s menu will include pizza by the slice, ice cream, milkshakes, sundaes and dip cones. Williams would also like to eventually offer locally grown fruits and vegetables to support local growers.
His goal is to open the restaurant by the end of this year.
“I want to bring a small community feeling back to the Northeast, back to this neighborhood,” Williams said. “I want to put life right back into this spot right here.”
Currently, Williams is working on securing the necessary city permits to resurface the parking lot and install fencing in the back to prevent vehicles from cutting through the parking lot.
Other changes will include a new paint scheme on the inside and possibly a long counter along the window with bar stools for patrons to relax.
Williams also hopes to update the facade and has applied for a loan through the KCMO CDE (Community Development Entity) Facade Improvement Loan Program.
For Williams, the Dairy Barn will be more than a business, it will be an opportunity to fund community programs like the Della Lamb wrestling program and his non-profit organization 3N1 geared toward youth. Williams said he wants to use the Dairy Barn profits to expand the horizons of Northeast youth by taking them outside of Northeast for camping, fishing, kayaking and more. He’d also like to teach youth how to manage their finances and be a positive influence.
Williams said he’s looking forward to meeting more residents in the community through the Dairy Barn and also providing a safe hangout for the community.
Williams also wants to continue the legacy of the previous owners, the McMurrays.
“I want this to continue to be a light in the community,” Williams said of the Dairy Barn. “I want to continue that trend.”