April 25, 2017: Kankakee, IL is not a city many have heard of, except if you live in Illinois. But it’s famous for a couple of things. One of them being the hometown of Dairy Queen.
It’s not where Dairy Queen corporate headquarters are, but where it first took off.
Sherb Noble started Dairy Queen on June 22, 1940, further north in Joliet, IL. But two years earlier he tested it out at a chain of ice cream shops he owned called “Sherb’s”. What he tested out was a recipe for soft serve ice cream. It was a big hit.
The location where he tested out the new soft serve recipe was just blocks away from this particularly Dairy Queen franchise on Station Street in Kankakee. In fact, his descendants still own this location.
Die-hard Dairy Queen fans can’t really get any closer than this to enjoying soft serve history.
Note that this location serves only ice cream. You can’t get burgers here.
Also note: if you buy a couple of ice creams, they’ll give a free “doggie cone” to your dog. (Mia loved it!)
Tip: While you’re visiting in town, drive to the Kankakee Train Station in downtown, where the song “City of New Orleans” was inspired.