Alabaster Dairy Queen closes

Published 12:45 pm Tuesday, February 7, 2012

The Dairy Queen in Alabaster's Colonial Promenade shopping center recently shut is doors after the restaurant owner retired. Dairy Queen had been operating in Alabaster for more than 50 years, and was located on U.S. 31 before it moved to the Promenade. (File)

By NEAL WAGNER / City Editor

The owner of Alabaster’s generations-old Dairy Queen restaurant recently closed the eatery in the Colonial Promenade shopping center, and the property owner is now searching for a new lessee for the property.

The Alabaster Dairy Queen has been operating in the city since 1960, and was located across U.S. 31 from Shelby Baptist Medical Center until it moved to the Promenade when the shopping center opened several years ago.

The Alabaster Dairy Queen lot and building is owned by the Eustis, Fla.-based Prickett Partners LLLP company. Jack Prickett, a partner with the company, said he learned the Dairy Queen would be closing when restaurant operator Tad Cairns contacted him in late January and announced his retirement.

“He made the decision that it was time for him to close the store,” Prickett said of Cairns. “He was a real gentleman, and he has done a lot for the Alabaster business community.

“We are sorry to see him go,” Prickett added.

On Feb. 7, the Dairy Queen marquee board read “Thank you Alabaster.” Prickett said his company placed “for lease” signs at the Dairy Queen property on Feb. 2, and has been “pleasantly surprised” by the number of calls the company has received in the past few days.

Prickett said he was unsure if the location will reopen as a Dairy Queen or another establishment.

“It could be a Dairy Queen, it could be something else,” Prickett said.

Kim Thompson, a former manager at the store, said Cairns closed the location shortly after Dairy Queen’s Customer Appreciation Day on Jan. 28.

“We had Customer Appreciation Day, and then we got the news,” Thompson said. “It’s been in the city for 52 years, so we will see how things work out.”