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After 65 years, a walk-up DQ closes in St. Paul

Carew Koskie, 13, left, and his nephew Justin Teigen, 11, had planned to eat at the Dairy Queen on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul but it is closed and so they went to Starbucks. “We always came here with my family,” said Koskie. “I was pretty upset because we wanted to order food and Blizzards,” said Teigen. The owner, Carol Noyes announced last week it was closing. Jean Pieri / St. Paul Pioneer Press

ST. PAUL - The walk-up Dairy Queen on Snelling Avenue in St. Paul has closed after 65 years in business.

For its entire existence, one family owned the franchise. Boots Rosenthal opened the store in 1952, and his daughter Carol Noyes and her husband, Bruce, took over in 1979 when Rosenthal died.

“We wanted to honor his legacy by continuing to be a place where friends and family could gather and make lasting memories,” Carol Noyes wrote in a recent Facebook post.

The building at 143 N. Snelling Ave. sat empty Thursday, rain soaking the red outdoor tables. Posters advertising the restaurant’s free Wi-Fi and Facebook page still hung on the old-fashioned walk-up service windows.

The store announced in March that it would open for the season later than usual because owner Bruce Noyes had just died after a long illness.

Carol Noyes wrote on Facebook Saturday that the store would remain closed permanently.

“My husband always strived to create a family-friendly atmosphere and got to know so many of our customers. He loved to head outside to the picnic tables to talk to many of you,” Noyes wrote. “Expressing how I will miss the DQ and my husband is too hard to put into words.”

Many commenters on the Facebook post expressed nostalgia at their former employment there and sadness at the news of the store’s closing.

Pamela Yanagihashi wrote that she worked at the Snelling Dairy Queen from age 15 until she finished college.

“I was so blessed to have learned about work ethic, loyalty and trust from such a caring person,” Yanagihashi said of Bruce Noyes. “We not only worked together, but shared many many laughs and memories at the cherished DQ. Bruce was such an amazing boss and friend.”

Loyal former employees had returned to Dairy Queen to lend a hand when Bruce Noyes was sick, Carol wrote.

The property is under contract to be sold.

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