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New Dairy Queen, Dunkin’ on W. State

This new Dunkin’ building, under construction next to the existing Dunkin’ Donuts on West State Street in Salem, is expected to open in late October or early November. Craig Anton, Vice President of Operations for White Donuts, which owns both properties, said the current building will be renovated into a Dairy Queen Grill & Chill with an expected opening date of December or January. This will be the first Dairy Queen operation for the company founded by Stewart “Joe” White who started with a Mister Donut at that site in 1984. (Salem News photo by Mary Ann Greier)

SALEM — Salem area residents can expect the latest and greatest Dunkin’ and Dairy Queen have to offer later this year as White Donuts modernizes and adds to its restaurant offerings on West State Street.

Craig Anton, Vice President of Operations for White Donuts, talked about the company’s commitment to the area while discussing the construction projects on the city’s west end Tuesday.

“The town’s been extremely supportive over the years,” he said.

That support is being rewarded with a new Dunkin’ building showcasing the latest design, complete with a fireplace and the addition of the new nitro-brewed coffee to the menu.

Next door, the existing Dunkin’ Donuts building will be renovated into a modern next generation Dairy Queen Grill & Chill, the first Dairy Queen location for the company which has been in the donut business in Salem since 1984.

“We’re very excited, opening a new brand and getting involved in that. Customers are going to love it,” Anton said.

Plans call for the new Dunkin’ to open in late October or early November. The existing Dunkin’ will continue to operate via the drive-thru up until the new building opens, with the lobby closing earlier so renovations can begin for the new Dairy Queen operation. He’s hoping the DQ Grill & Chill will be ready to open in December or January.

Dunkin currently employs 30 workers at the West State Street store, but that number is expected to increase at the new location. An additional 30 to 35 workers will be hired for the Dairy Queen. The company also owns the East State Street located where there are another 30 workers.

Anton said the company is always hiring and recommended potential employees apply online at careers.whitedonuts.com. Information about jobs at Dairy Queen will be announced in the next two months.

The company acquired several properties in recent years allowing for the construction of the new Dunkin’ building where a recent car wash business and previously Yard Bark had been located.

Besides the current Dunkin’ Donuts, the company also owns the building to the west, which is the corporate headquarters for the franchise, and owns the former Snyder Chips building, using it as a warehouse. White Donuts also owns the property to the east where Sunny’s is located, leasing it to the restaurant. The company recently completed some work on the building to spruce it up.

Anton said some nice landscaping will be done and some features will be added to “make this corner pop a little bit better.”

Parking will be a little different, with the main entrance to the properties located between Sunny’s and Dunkin’, along with access off of Dodge Drive. Both Dunkin’ and Dairy Queen will have drive-thru operations and seating inside and Dairy Queen will be open year-round.

In a bit of irony, company founder Stewart “Joe” White purchased the building where Dunkin’ is located off of the late Howard Miller, who owned the former Dairy Queen up the street. White opened a Mr. Donut, which was then converted to Dunkin’ Donuts a decade later.

He’s still involved in the company, operated by his son, Stewart White, along with Anton, which last year bought the Dairy Queen property on West State Street from the Miller family, which had operated the walk-up ice cream stand for 64 years before closing in September 2019.

Howard’s wife, Edith, and son, Joe, who had taken over the business, decided to say goodbye to the familiar red-roofed building on the corner of State and Georgetown. Joe Miller also sold the former Frostop building and the home on Georgetown Road next to the Dairy Queen to White Donuts.

Anton said it was touch and go whether to build there or in the current location. The decision was made to build in the current spot and now the old Dairy Queen building has been repainted and is available for lease.

He said they saw this as a good opportunity to build by their home base.

The new Dunkin’ will include front-facing donut cases and a tap system for coffees, along with a digital menu board and an overhang over the drive-thru window, along with the fireplace and the signage that simply says Dunkin’. The DQ Grill & Chill will include all the familiar Dairy Queen ice cream treats along with hot foods.

White Donuts operates 28 Dunkin’ Donuts in the area, covering Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties, the Canton-Massillon area and two in Pennsylvania. The home base office in Salem employs eight.

“Salem’s been a great community. City officials have been great to work with,” Anton said.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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