PIQUA — George’s Dairy Bar may be closed, but its legacy will continue in the form of a food truck.
Dave McMillan, former operator of George’s Dairy Bar and owner of the food truck, plans to bring the truck — bearing a new “George’s” logo — to different parts of the city around lunch time, hopefully beginning by mid-March.
“I am getting a small food truck ready to go,” McMillan said. “Unfortunately, it is too small to serve ice cream, but you will still be able to get some of our customer favorites.”
Fan favorites on the menu will include regular and footlong coney dogs, and BBQ or shredded chicken sandwiches.
McMillan previously explained that running George’s Dairy Bar became too much for him to handle alone.
“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,” McMillan said.
McMillan explained that running the business was strenuous for him to do by himself and that the family is not planning on passing the business down to another family member, as his children have jobs of their own.
“Everything comes to an end, and unfortunately, it was time to end the George’s time of our business,” McMillan said. “But I’m too young to retire.”
McMillan went on to say that the food truck will provide him with a little extra income, but also give him more time to ride his motorcycle.
By spring and summer, the locations where the George’s food truck will be on certain days will be announced on their “George’s Dairy Bar” Facebook page.
The decision to keep the “George’s” name on the food truck instead of making it a “Dave’s” food truck stayed in line with keeping the tradition and connection to the beloved restaurant alive.
“Even when we were a Dairy Queen, people called it ‘George’s,’” McMillan said. “I’ve been honored and flattered when I’ve been called George even though my name is Dave. George’s store may be gone, but George’s will live on with the food truck.”
As an added note, there is a spot on the George’s food truck for McMillan to post signs and continue his tradition of commenting on “the state of affairs of our community, state, and country,” McMillan said.
When asked about the business’s much-rumored “secret” coney sauce, and whether they would sell that along with the property, McMillan said, “Contrary to popular belief, that is not my mother’s special recipe.”
McMillan said that the sauce was “made with love” and was not a secret recipe.
Overall, the McMillan family will miss the community and interacting with them the same way that they did at the George’s Dairy Bar location.
“We love being in the Piqua community,” McMillan said. “We gave some fine young men and women their first jobs.”
McMillan added that some of those former employees went on to be lawyers, doctors, police officers, and more. “The public gave us much to us as we gave to them, and we’re going to miss them,” he said.
The property for George’s Dairy Bar is currently for sale. The McMillan family joined with two other property owners to list all of their properties together with Bruns Realty, and the listed price for the combined properties is $1,274,900.
“We and the other property owners are trying to sell our parcels of land,” McMillan said.
McMillan went on to say how much he has enjoyed his job and working in the community.
“I can say that I have had the rare privilege of looking forward to going to work every day of the last 36 years,” he said. He added that, “if the property has not closed by December, there will still be an opportunity to get one last Christmas tree.”
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