Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dairy Queen

1989 photo of the Wilkinson Blvd location

Wilkinson Blvd location

Wilkinson Blvd location at dusk

Close-up of the famous Eskimo

Central Ave location

Wonderful late-'80's photo of the Central Ave location at dusk (photo courtesy of Byron Baldwin)

There are two important Dairy Queen's in Charlotte--one on Wilkinson Blvd and the other on Central Ave. At the time of construction of each, both were situated on major thoroughfares leading into downtown Charlotte (in terms of importance, Wilkinson Blvd would later be replaced by I-85 and Central by Independence Blvd). The Wilkinson Blvd location was built in 1947 and owned by Preston Aaron. It is the oldest Dairy Queen in North Carolina and the third oldest in the Southeast. It is famous for its Eskimo-mascot that sits on top of the roof. The location on Central Ave began operations on March 1, 1950 and was owned by Robert Hewitt. Both locations still draw huge crowds (despite no longer being on major thoroughfares) due in part to their history as well as their stylish retro-appearances. 


  1. The DQ with the Eskimo was featured in Our Vanishing Americana: A North Carolina Portrait

    I just got the book and I'm absolutely fascinated.

  2. I have never seen a Dairy Queen in its orginal form although I have been to quite a bit of older locations that have survived, all very similar to this building with some changes, such as, no queen.