Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Karmelkorn in Empire Mall to close

Jan. 25, 2019

The “Triple Treat” Dairy Queen, Orange Julius and Karmelkorn shop in The Empire Mall is closing.

The final day is Sunday, franchise owner Dan Radigan said.

His 10-year lease is up at the end of the month, and DQ is dropping support for Karmelkorn, which is a customer favorite, Radigan said. The location is one of the last in the U.S. to sell the flavored popcorn. The shop’s location also is a factor.

“The reality is the mall experience is changing,” he said. “If you don’t have that traffic, you can’t make it go.”

Radigan has been in the quick-serve restaurant business in Sioux Falls since 1979, first with Taco John’s and then Dairy Queen. In 1993, he bought the “Triple Treat” location, which is in the old Sears wing, and a second Dairy Queen that was in the food court.

The shop has been popping kernels of corn, flavoring the batches and selling it seven days a week, minus a few holidays. Determining how much popcorn that has been would take a little time. Radigan has a thick, well-worn notebook that lists how many gallons were made each day.

Now, he’s ready for a little break from work but also will spend more time at Whimp’s Steakhouse in Burbank, which has been in his family since 1980. Radigan bought it after his brother died in 2008.

While his own work ethic is part of his success story, he’s humble enough to share the credit.

“My success has been because of my employees, and we’ve had great customers.”

Dairy Queen, Orange Julius, Karmelkorn in Empire Mall to close

The treat shop has been serving customers in The Empire Mall since the late 1980s.

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