Is West Bend ready to see the return of a Dairy Queen franchise
It was 2014 when West Bend lost its Dairy Queen stores and now the franchise famous for its Blizzards and Dilly Bars maybe coming back to town.
“I am doing diligence on returning DQ to West Bend,” said Kevin Scheunemann, owner of the DQ’s in Kewaskum and Jackson.
“I have applied for the DQ franchise for West Bend with International Dairy Queen, and I am working with International Dairy Queen to find a site that meets both our expectations.
“I did review potential sites last week with a representative of International Dairy Queen.”
Scheunemann cannot reveal the potential sites in West Bend but said he is actively looking. “If we find a location suitable for all parties involved and get approval for the project from the City of West Bend, our hope is to be open nine months from that point in time,” he said.
“DQ has a long, rich, heritage and history in West Bend and are excited to bring forward the day we can restore that storied West Bend DQ heritage with a new, modern, and fresh, DQ Grill and Chill 3.0 Design.”
History of DQ in West Bend
There is a certain charm to the history of the locally owned Dairy Queens in West Bend. All the DQ’s have ties to the Jerry and Nancy Mehring family. Jerry and his brother Richard took over their first DQ in West Bend in 1956 when they started leasing the store at the bottom of Barton Hill. The second store on South Main Street went up in 1968 and the third on West Washington Street was built in 1985.
The Mehring’s built the store on the southwest corner of Main and Vine in 1967. “It was an empty lot owned by Shell Oil with plans to open a gas station,” Jerry Mehring said. “Shell changed their mind and put the lot up for sale and with the advice of our attorney, Clyde Schloemer, we purchased the lot from Shell Oil.”
Mehring said, “There was an additional 25-foot strip to the west, which the city had set aside for an alley. Later the city abandoned it and we purchased it from the Diel’s family.”
In the mid-1970s the Mehrings added a side dining room and the Brazier food line. “After that we added the front dining room and drive thru-window. It was the first drive-thru in West Bend,” he said.
In February 2014 Jerry and Nancy Mehring reflected on the news their restaurants in West Bend were closing. AROUND THE BEND February 22, 2014 By JUDY STEFFES
It has been about a month since news hit in West Bend that the Dairy Queen stores were closing. Many expressed concerns but also wondered how former DQ owners Nancy and Jerry Mehring were fairing.
“The news was obviously devastating,” said Jerry Mehring during a one-on-one interview with his wife Nancy at his side.
“The customers and the people we met and worked with were the best in the world,” said Nancy.
The Mehring’s initially heard the news via a friend. “I had to sit down because of the shock,” said Jerry. “That’s 60 years of Dairy Queen in West Bend we’re talking about.”
Over the past few weeks, the Mehrings have been flooded with calls and notes of thanks.
“We’ve had a lot of calls from friends, relatives and former employees,” said Jerry. “We had one guy who had done work for Dan (Schuster) and wanted to know if there was anything, he could do to help keep it going,” said Mehring of Bob Schumacher.
The Mehrings shared an email from DQ owners Dan and Ashley Schuster. It talked about the High School swim team that came in every Tuesday night stopping before the store closed on S. Main and asking how much was needed to save the store. When Dan told them, their eyes got wide and the captain said, “Wow! We were all going to chip in $20, but I guess that won’t work,” said Jerry.
The email continued saying the team bought ice cream for all the employees at the store to thank them for all the “fun nights we’ve had here.”
Ashley Schuster said another girl down the street who is in K5 took up a ‘save DQ’ collection.
“She searched her couch cushions, emptied her purse and even went through all her personal belongings to see what she would be willing to sell to save the stores,” said Schuster. “That included her Nintendo DS! What a sweetheart.”
Nancy Mehring, who often volunteers as a greeter with her husband at Holy Angels Church, said the news has been a big test of faith. “It was about a week of praying and crying,” said Nancy. “We had a lot of emails of support and my son kept saying ‘when God closes a door, he opens a window’ so we’re hanging in there.”
The Mehrings will both be 75 years old this summer (2014). “We’d gladly go back and work at the Dairy Queen if we felt there was any chance. We sincerely thank all the community for their support and friendship,” said Nancy.
Last Monday the keys to both businesses were turned over to the bank. Although there has been a lot of scuttlebutt in the community regarding the future of the buildings no sale of the properties has been confirmed.
Previous DQ in West Bend timeline:
-July 19, 2014 West Bend Dairy Queens were sold at a sheriff’s auction. Both restaurants, 501 Wildwood Road and 1200 S. Main St., owned by Dan and Ashley Schuster, closed in 2014. The opening bid for the store on South Main started at $550,000 and sold for $550,001 to a pair of investors from out of town. The store on the west side of town on S. Main Street had an opening bid of $220,000. There were no other offers.
– The DQ on S. Main Street was razed June 23, 2015. A Panda Express was built in its space on the southwest corner of Main and Vine Street.
– Samet Fejzuli purchased the former DQ property at 501 Wildwood Road in May 2015; the parcel had been in foreclosure since January 2014. Two short years later Fejzuli closed Mother’s Day in October 2017. Don Ramon Mexican Restaurant opened in the summer of 2018.
Drowning in Big Cedar Lake under investigation | By Sgt. K. Uhan
On July 3, 2020, at 7:58pm, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a call of a man who dove into Big Cedar Lake and had not surfaced.
Big Cedar Lake PRD boat patrol responded along with Sheriff’s Deputies, and Wisconsin State Patrol. Allenton Fire Dept. and West Bend Intercept were dispatched to the address in the 5700 block of West Lake Dr, in the Town of West Bend.
The 50-year-old Wausau man was brought out of the water and lifesaving efforts were attempted on scene. Ultimately, the man did not recover, and was pronounced deceased.
The case remains under investigation by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Medical Examiner’s Office.
Germantown student receives $10,000 Emerson National Scholarship | By Connor Hayes
Alexandra Nonn, a Germantown resident and 2020 graduate of Divine Savior Holy Angels High School, has been awarded an Emerson National Scholarship. She is among 30 recipients of the scholarship awarded annually to children of Emerson employees nationwide.
Nonn plans to attend University of Wisconsin-Madison and study biomedical engineering.
Nonn is the daughter of David Nonn, who works at Emerson’s ASCO Numatics business in Florham Park, N.J.
The winners of the Emerson scholarship receive $2,500 per academic year for four years. Selection is based on academic performance of the applicants: grade point average, class rank, and national test scores. Participation in school activities and community involvement are also considered in the selection process.
Emerson (NYSE: EMR), headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri (USA), is a global technology and engineering company providing innovative solutions for customers in industrial, commercial and residential markets.
What July 4th means to me from the team at 5 Corners in Cedarburg
Neighbors across Washington and Ozaukee Counties will be celebrating Independence Day on July 4. The team at 5 Corners Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram and Isuzu Truck & Auto gathered this week to discuss the importance of July 4 in their life.
Roman Weninger, CEO and Co-Owner at 5 Corners Dodge Chrysler Jeep Ram, in Cedarburg said Independence Day is about freedom, liberty and justice for all.
Randy Kannenberg said he’s proud of the people, including his family, who served in the military and fought for this country’s freedom.
Bill Seeger served from 1970 – 1976 in the US Army. “When people stand and salute the flag it means a lot to me,” he said.
Randy Strupp said July 4 means “getting together will family to celebrate the independence of our country.”
Robert ‘Spike’ Ulickey said July 4 is a time to reflect on this great country. “Freedom isn’t free,” said Ulickey. “The world is constantly changing and if it wasn’t for those men and women who gave their lives for us …. we would not be doing what we’re doing right now.
Eric Weninger said the Declaration of Independence was signed 244 years ago. “Since then many battles were fought and heroes gave their lives so we can be free,” he said. “On July 4 I like to reflect and be thankful for the freedoms we have because so many people sacrificed so much for us.”
Paying tribute to Washington County Judge Richard T. Becker
Celebration of Life for Washington Co. Judge Richard T. Becker
It was a who’s who from the legal field at the Schauer Arts Center in Hartford on Tuesday afternoon as friends, family and fellow lawyers and judges gathered to remember former Washington County Judge Richard T. Becker.
Becker passed away June 22, 2020, at the age of 84. He had a well-respected career as Washington County District Attorney from 1961 to 1966 while also serving the people of Washington County in private practice in Hartford. He also served as a judge for Washington County from 1978 until his retirement in 1999.
State Supreme Court Justice Annette Ziegler was the first speaker. She praised Judge Becker for “administering justice with an even hand” and “demonstrated integrity.”
“Judge Becker was a steadfast and true judge who administered justice with an even hand. He demanded people be prepared, hard-working, and respectful. He was a public servant in the truest sense. Whoever appeared before him knew they would meet a fair and impartial jurist.”
Washington County Judge Jim Pouros practiced law at the same time Richard Becker was an attorney.
“I admired him immensely. I am old enough that I practiced law in cases with him before he became a judge. He was without a doubt the single most skilled private practice lawyer in Hartford.
“I like to recall there was a time when he was practicing privately in Hartford but was also the part time Washington County District Attorney and a part time what was at the time Corporation Council, now it is called County Attorney.
“He did those two very important part-time jobs while practicing privately. I think he, and my experience goes back 50 years, he is the most scholarly judge we ever had in this county and much admired.
“He was diligent; he worked extremely hard. He carried all that hard work, that application of himself as a private lawyer to the bench and he an acute intelligence that showed itself regularly in the courtroom.
“The lawyers were comfortable in his courtroom because they knew that he knew the law.”
During the ceremony in Hartford Judge Pouros offered a detailed tribute to his former colleague citing his “hard work, preparedness, and professionalism.”
“I will give one example to prove how Attorney Becker was held in the highest esteem When he decided he would like to run to be judge – – he called every lawyer in the county to say what he aspired to do. Every single attorney he called, – – those older than Dick and those younger. All told him that was a great idea, that he should do it and that he would be a fine judge. He was the obvious best choice. Everyone wanted him to take the bench, but at the same time we were sorry he would no longer be there as a practicing attorney.”
“He was one of the lawyers in the last jury trial held in our historic magnificent Old Courthouse and was a lead community advocate for the maintenance of that treasured building and its collection by and for the people of Washington County and he donated countless hours conducting tours there.”
Pouros concluded, “Judge Richard T. Becker – You were the Dean and Mentor of our Judiciary and we all miss you and your guidance.”
Retired Washington County Judge Andrew Gonring said Judge Becker was an inspiration to him on how he tried to conduct himself during his 20 years on the bench.
“From my standpoint he got things done,” said Gonring. “He knew the case; he knew the law and he got things done and there was no doubt about how you were going to conduct yourself in Richard T. Becker’s courtroom.”
Gonring held Judge Becker in high esteem; he also chose to follow in his footsteps.
“Of all the judges I went before in my 23 years as a private practice lawyer the one judge I tried to model myself after was Judge Becker,” said Gonring.
“I liked the way he conducted himself. He was a great judge but he was a no-nonsense judge. He expected people to do their job and he proceeded accordingly. I modeled myself after Dick Becker more than any other judge.”
Public Works Announces Electronics Recycling Event
Advanced Disposal will host an annual Electronics Recycling Event on Saturday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 803 N. River Road. Wisconsin’s electronics recycling law states all electronics are banned from landfills. In response, the City’s recycling contract with Advanced Disposal provides City of West Bend residents with an opportunity to dispose of electronics and computers at no cost during the Electronics Recycling Event.
Items accepted include: Computers, Desktop printers and printer/fax/copier/scanner combinations, Video display devices with displays of at least 7” in the longest diagonal direction, Televisions, Laptop computers, Computer monitors, Computer peripherals, including keyboards, mice, hard drives, and other devices, Fax machines, DVD players, VCRs, and other video players (i.e., DVRs)
Upon arrival, residents are required to present proof of residency (i.e. driver’s license, utility bill, etc.). For questions, please contact the City of West Bend Public Works Department at 262-335-5079.
Mickey’s Frozen Custard in Hartford reopens after fire
A steady flow of customers lined up outside Mickey’s Frozen Custard in Hartford on Wednesday evening to patronize the locally owned business damaged in an electrical fire June 18. The business reopened July 1 and started scooping out orders for Cookies & Cream and the new Special Sundae: Red, White and Blue Explosion: Creamy vanilla custard smothered in sweet red raspberries topped with month-watering blueberries, sprinkled with crunchy almonds and a red cherry.
St. Frances Cabrini shares inspiring news about SFC alumni
St. Frances Cabrini shared some inspiring news this week about three of its alumni who are working to dedicate their lives to Christ.
We would like to share our wholehearted excitement for three of our recent SFC Alumni (within the last 10 years) who are following Jesus in selfless ways by becoming a missionary, priest and nun.
They are Kara Conley, Zachary Galante, and Rachel Kruepke and each has shared with us how SFC parish and school helped guide them toward these paths. See below…
Please congratulate them, thank them, but most importantly pray for them as they each go through these wonderful new journeys.
“Attending St. Frances Cabrini gave me the moral foundation I needed to choose and strive to live a life of holiness. Without the people and the joy, I encountered at Cabrini, I can say I never would have decided to invest more deeply in my faith in college and let alone become a missionary. Thanks to all the priests, teachers, and fellow students who helped me grow in my faith from grade school and beyond!”
“I count it as one of the greatest blessings of my life to be a graduate of St Frances Cabrini school. The culture of faith, excellence in all areas of life, friendships made, and deep care for others has deeply grounded me throughout my life. Entering year four of seminary, I am constantly reminded of God’s providential love and care for me throughout the early, formative years of my life, and how He has continued to act in my life through my home parish community. I am deeply grateful for all the ways Cabrini has cultivated my vocation. God bless SFC and go knights!”
“I will always look back on my years at St. Frances Cabrini with utmost gratitude and great joy! I cherish the memories of close friends, joyful and caring teachers, and learning about the Catholic faith at a young age. My education at Cabrini provided a strong foundation for my relationship with the Lord, which has only grown more over my high school and college years. I am so grateful for the Lord’s work in my life as a student, and I hope to be a witness to Christ in my own classroom someday. Thank you to everyone who has been involved in my Cabrini education and life in the parish. You have loved me so well and shown me how I can learn to love and follow the Lord wherever He calls. You are all in my prayers!”
West Bend Police searching segment of Eisenbahn State Trail
A short section of the Eisenbahn State Trail was closed to bicycle and pedestrian traffic on Wednesday afternoon as West Bend Police responded to a neighbor complaint.
The trail segment that was cordoned off around 3:20 p.m. was between Decorah Road north to Kilbourn Avenue. An officer on scene said he had no comment.
About an hour later a marked police vehicle was on the trail as an officer scanned the grassy area with a metal detector.
Police Chief Ken Meuler put to rest unconfirmed social media posts. “There is no active shooter,” said Meuler. “It was a neighbor issue and we’re still investigating everything and nobody has been injured.”
Meuler said the officers have been “searching for a weapon an actor may have had.” The Eisenbahn State Trail has sinced reopened to through bike/pedestrian traffic.
Saying goodbye to Schwai’s in Cedarburg
It has been 11 years since Schwai’s first opened its store at W62 N601 Washington Avenue, Cedarburg.
Schwai’s was the perfect fit as Hoffmann’s Meats wrapped up 91 years at the storefront. A small writeup on Schwai’s predecessors was published in the book Wisconsin’s Hometown Flavors: A Cooks Tours of Butcher Shops, Bakeries, Cheese Factories & Other Specialty Markets by Terese Allen.
Schwai’s opened in Cedarburg on Nov. 16, 2009 after owners Tom and Kathey Schwai closed their shop on Tillie Lake Road in Jackson. After five years in the strip mall to the west of Highway 45 that storefront struggled and the Schwai’s thought it was time for change.
The old butcher shop in Cedarburg had been closed since 2008.
Tom Schwai was quoted in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel saying the move to Cedarburg was a “no-brainer.”
“Everything’s there. The coolers. Everything. How could you go wrong?” Tom Schwai said. “The old-time doors are there. It’s an old-time butcher shop.”
On Saturday, June 27, 2020 the hinges on the screen door to the shop got a workout as did its clerks. Dressed in matching pink Schwai’s shirts Kathey and her longtime coworker Amy filled order after order after order. Strawberry brats were the hot topic of the day. It was supposed to be the weekend for Cedarburg’s Strawberry Fest, however that had been canceled because of COVID.
Kathey weighed and wrapped hot sticks and brats. Customers seemed to come in already well aware the store was closing.
“I have aged and matured and would like to cut back on my workload,” said Kathey. “Tom thinks he’s very young but he is now overwhelmed with a lot of work so I think it would be better for all of us if we just have the one location in Fredonia.”
Questioned whether she was sad to leave Cedarburg, Kathey said she was sad to “leave the people but I’m very happy for the time we’ve had here and I have a feeling they will continue to follow us; they love the brats and they will continue to support us in Fredonia.”
“I want to thank everyone in Cedarburg and I can’t leave out our out-of-towners because we do have a lot of people from Illinois,” she said. “I’m so grateful for everyone that has supported us and as I say we came in here in faith that we would be supported and that’s how we’re leaving with faith and we’ll see you in Fredonia.