A queen of the Dairy Queen dies at 90

When Phyllis and Bob Litherland started the Dairy Queen in Moorhead in 1949, their friends told them fast food was just a fad that would never last. They didn’t listen, even if it meant they had to sleep in the backroom while pouring their money into the place.

The Dairy Queen people told them they had to make the ice cream products just the way they were told to.

Some people don’t listen.

As legend goes, an ice cream mix supplier stopped by. Somebody poured the ice cream on a paper, stuck a stick in it and dipped it in chocolate, the Fargo Forum says.

It was the birth of the Dilly Bar.

Phyllis Litherland has died in Chicago, according to the couple who bought their shop in 1995.

You actually do want to read the comments.

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Posted by Moorhead Dairy Queen on Tuesday, August 14, 2018

The Litherlands sold the Dilly Bar for 10 cents.

“We didn’t have any trouble selling them at all – they just took off,” Bob said in a 2010 interview, although medical tongue depressors became scarce around the Fargo-Moorhead area in 1955.

Bob Litherland, known around Moorhead as “Dairy Queen Bob” died in 2013.

The store has carried on the Litherlands’ tradition of being a corporate maverick, selling items that the corporate parent discontinued long ago.

  • Paul Weimer

    Oh man. Rest in peace.

  • Gary F

    I haven’t been there this year, but I believe the DQ at 75th and Lyndale in Richfield still makes their own Dilly and Buster bars.

    • I always thought most DQs did that, but I’m probably wrong.

      /Some of those “local” menu items described in the attached story sound great.

      • Gary F

        Pre-packaged ones made in some Dairy Queen factory somewhere.

        They made them in house to keep the help busy during down times. But at some point it was just easier to buy them pre made.

        So, cherish the experience if your local DQ has made on site Dilly and Buster bars.

    • Jerry

      I’ve probably said this before, but the DQ at Earl and 3rd in East St Paul still makes their own Dilly Bars with extra thick dippings and interesting flavour combos (chocolate ice cream with cherry coating, for example).

  • John

    I have been to the Moorhead DQ many times (I went to college just up the street), though not for over 15 years.

    That may be the best Dairy Queen in the world. The rest of the franchised, toe the corporate line, stores have traded any soul or anything interesting off in favor of having the exact same experience regardless of where you are. Some chains can kind of pull that off. DQ has failed at it.

    • Greg W

      The special things that a local DQ can provide should be celebrated instead of snuffed out.

      My dad still talks fondly about the Peach Blizzard he had about three decades ago that are sadly not allowed at that DQ store any more.