Dairy Queen coming to Greencastle via old Sonic building


The deserted Sonic Drive-In on Rt. 231 will open its doors early this summer as a Dairy Queen franchise.
Mayor Sue Murray said the owners of the building recently had their layout design released from the state, and they hope the restaurant will open by June 1.
According to City Planner Linda Dunbar, the Sonic was only open for one season of business. She said she believes part of its failure was due to the fact that central Indiana weather conditions are not fit for a mostly drive-in restaurant.
"We have pretty harsh winters, short springs, short falls and hot summers," Dunbar said. "And if it's really hot who wants to sit and eat in their car?"
Dunbar said she thinks that Dairy Queen will be a good new option for food services in the community and will not hurt any of the other local businesses.
"It's just one of those things that keeps competition going," said Dunbar.
Dairy Castle owner Rob Best is confident in his customer loyalty, and also thinks that the competition will benefit the community.
"I think [the opening of Dairy Queen is] a good thing because it's showing that the economy is coming back," Best said. "Usually when competitive companies get together it increases business for both if they're good companies."
General Manager of Charlie's Chill and Grill Mark Benassi is staying optimistic about Dairy Queen's opening and does not seem worried about it taking business away either.
"Competition is good," Benassi said. "It's just the little guy against corporate America. That's basically what it's boiled down to."
Charlie's, which opened on March 1, is owned by Putnam County Comprehensive Services. Benassi said he thinks the business's individuality will keep it going strong.
"We work mainly with the mentally and physically impaired, and what we're doing is the first of its kind," Benassi said. "We're hoping that the community gets behind us."
In addition, Benassi expressed confidence in the two businesses varying food options as a factor that will help maintain customer loyalty.
"My quality of ice cream is much better than [Dairy Queen's]," Benassi said. "I know that for a fact. And of course I offer different sandwiches than they do. So it's two different entities."