Turns out it's a flagship restaurant. The corporate website explains:
DQ Grill & Chill® RestaurantThe details, elsewhere:
The DQ Grill & Chill restaurant concept is our flagship concept. This concept offers a total food service program, featuring the full line of our famous DQ® soft serve treat products and an all new food menu. These restaurants are designed to feature food offerings while maintaining our DQ treat heritage. The interior is warm and inviting – different from, and better than the typical quick-service restaurant.
DQ Grill & Chill blends the best of Dairy Queen's heritage with the most modern innovation in quick-service food and design. The DQ Grill & Chill interior, which brings a new dimension to the QSR environment, features a modern, open-air grill and separate "grill" and "chill" sections. Comfortable booths, large wooden tables, warm lighting and music add to the overall inviting environment.Well, not exactly. I mean, the interior certainly beats out the sterile over-friendliness of a McDonalds or Taco Bell (times are changin'), but the fake stone and low lighting and strange interior column-things (I'm no architect) are oddly medieval, like a late-night snack stop for Torquemada.
The halo effect wasn't working for me. With a two-for-one coupon, my Peanut Buster Parfait was cold enough for the price, but the vanilla ice cream was an inoffensive wallflower, the fudge waxy and bitter. (Peanuts aplenty, at least.)
I would have paid for the entertainment, though. A young father with four tiny tots was running a nonstop comedy routine, riffing on whatever bizarre behaviors they'd throw at him. Tot One, wearing a silver necklace matching Tot Two's, spilled ice cream on it. Tears. Dad rushed to the bathroom to wash it off, and returned wearing it. "It looks better on me," he said. Crisis averted.
Tot Three boasted that he had an adult-sized cone. Tot Four started crying out of jealousy, refusing to eat his until Dad promised he could have another if he ate the whole thing. "Look, I'm saving you from the burden of eating it all," said Dad to the uncomprehending three-year-old. His prediction would prove accurate, as Tot Three threw out 74% of the cone four minutes later.