PIQUA — Will spring still come if George’s Dairy Bar does not open?
Yes, but it will be a slightly less tasty season for the community.
In what would be the business’s 56th year of operation at this location — and 60th year overall serving the community — the current operator Dave McMillan appears to have gone into retirement.
The property is also for sale.
After rumors circulating about whether or not McMillan had gone into retirement or taken a new job — including a cryptic post on the George’s Dairy Bar Facebook page that included the question “Who knows what Dave is gonna [sic] do?” — owners George and Ruth McMillan confirmed that Dave McMillan was not planning on reopening the business this season.
Ruth McMillan declined to comment for the Piqua Daily Call, but a post on the George’s Dairy Bar Facebook page said the following: “To our friends and family: Dave has decided to follow Ruth and George into retirement. We will not be opening as we normally do.”
The family also offered thanks to the community for the many memories created at the business. The post went on to say, “Not sure what’s around the corner with Dave; we all know he can be elusive!”
“It is with a heavy heart that I have made the decision to close the family business George’s Dairy Bar after 59 years of operation,” Dave McMillan said in a statement. Dave McMillan explained that the job became too much for him to handle by himself and that they are not planning on passing the business down to another family member as his children each have jobs of their own.
The property is currently listed with Bruns Realty as being for sale along with other surrounding businesses. The listed price is $1,274,900.
“We and the other property owners are trying to sell our parcels of land,” Dave McMillan said in a statement. “The cost of doing some much needed repairs when we are trying to sell does not make financial sense.”
The property site also includes much more than the George’s Dairy Bar site located at 329 Spring St. Nearly the entire corner of Spring and Ash streets — extending from that corner to the corner of Spring and High streets, as well as including the site of the Matador Hair & Tanning Studio for a total of 99,999 square feet — is for sale. Approximately 50 percent of the area that is for sale is occupied. The Matador Hair & Tanning Studio is still open for business and has not closed.
“I can say that I have had the rare privilege of looking forward to going to work every day of the last 36 years. We have enjoyed serving all of our customers for the last 59 years. We will miss all of you just as much as you will miss us,” Dave McMillan said. He added that “if the property has not closed by December, there will still be an opportunity to get one last Christmas tree.”
What’s around the corner with Dave McMillan appears to be a food truck, so lovers of their coney dogs and barbeque chicken sandwiches will still be able to find satisfaction.
“I am getting a small food truck ready to go,” Dave McMillan said. “Unfortunately, it is too small to serve ice cream, but you will still be able to get some of our customer favorites. This includes a regular and footlong coney dog, BBQ or shredded chicken sandwich.” He encouraged the community to follow their Facebook page for updates on the food truck.
When asked about the business’s much rumored-about secret coney sauce and if they would sell that along with the property, Dave McMillan said, “Contrary to popular belief, that is not my mother’s special recipe.” Dave McMillan said that it was “made with love” and was not a secret recipe.
The George’s Dairy Bar building was built to serve as a Dairy Queen, which was located at 207 E. Ash St. prior to being at this location. The Dairy Queen was first listed in the city directory in 1955, and George and Ruth McMillan purchased it when they moved to Piqua in 1957.
They operated the Dairy Queen at the East Ash Street location until 1961, when they purchased the Clouse House at their current location. They razed the Clouse House and constructed the current George’s Dairy Bar that the community knows today. They operated the business as the Dairy Queen through 1990, but they separated from the franchise in 1991. They renamed the business George’s Dairy Bar.
Reach Sam Wildow at [email protected] or (937) 451-3336