Different look, different name, same quality

Menomonie Street Dairy Queen changes name to Roadside Ice Cream & Diner, transforms from corporate to independent

More stories from Alanna Huggett

Pura Vida
May 15, 2019

Photo by Sam Farley

The iconic Dairy Queen sign shape hints at the diner’s former brand.

Recently rebranded Roadside Ice Cream & Diner was busy with customers looking to escape the snow and satisfy their soft-serve cravings Sunday.

Joey Robertson, co-owner of Roadside Diner, said that a little over two months ago, the business changed its name from Menomonie Street Dairy Queen to Roadside Ice Cream & Diner. The recent rebranding occurred because Roadside wanted to preserve their business model, Robertson said.

“We’ve been here for over 45 years serving soft-serve and maintaining our business model to best serve the customers,” Robertson said. “We just like being part of the community and making the best products to best suit them.”

While the name and look of the restaurant have changed, not much else is different, Robertson said. For quality purposes, Roadside does use a different kind of soft-serve than when they were Menomonie Street Dairy Queen. Other than that, the menu and employees have overall stayed the same.

Even before its rebranding, the restaurant served up dishes that strayed from the Dairy Queen standard. Roadside serves customers legendary soft serve mixers and offers options for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Some of the items on their menu include sundaes, dipped cones, smoothies, donuts, burritos, burgers and omelettes.

“We actually came to realize that Dairy Queen is using a lot of sub-standard products for their restaurants, which is fine for a franchise point of view,” Robertson said. “For our restaurant we like to choose the best quality products.”

Ash and Laurie Warwick, of Altoona, said they have been customers of both Menomonie Street Dairy Queen and Roadside Ice Cream & Diner.

Ash Warwick said they were told about the change in the soft serve product and, from a customer’s perspective, there wasn’t a huge difference in the products Roadside Diner offers.

“We were told that their soft serve changed, it’s actually gotten more flavor,” Warwick said. “A lot of their stuff was so different from D.Q. in the first place. There really wasn’t much of a change.”

She said she appreciates the family-run atmosphere and the friendly employees. She also said Roadside consistently serves up a lot of tasty treats.

Roadside Diner is located at 1160 Menomonie Street, Eau Claire and is open from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Monday. Roadside is closed on Tuesdays.  

Huggett can be reached at [email protected]