Dairy Queen no more, Northeast ice cream shop opens under new name, ownership

Beloved couple sold it, now it's reopened

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - They weren't going to let just anyone have it. 

When Esther and John McMurray considered offers from buyers two years ago, they wanted to make sure whoever got their Independence Avenue Dairy Queen didn't turn it into something they didn't want.

The McMurray's, known as "Mom and Pop" in the neighborhood, had owned it for 31 years, and it was an Old Northeast landmark going back to the 1950s. In the end they entrusted it to Brett Williams, a Northeast resident, who vowed to honor its history and keep it the way it is. 

After two years of dormancy, Williams and his wife Janel have reopened the old Dairy Queen and renamed it Dairy Barn. The new shop offers pizza as well as ice cream treats.

"We live here, we play here, and we work here," Williams said. "We're just trying to build a neighborhood that we want to see come back."

His immediate plans include fixing the roof and repairing the parking lot. He eventually wants to add a bike rack outside. He's already modernized the interior and removed signs from the large front window.

Williams is a wrestling coach at the nearby Della Lamb Center. He said would eventually like to donate a portion of the store's profits to Della Lamb and to beautification efforts at Old Northeast parks.

Print this article Back to Top