Created By: North Dakota State University
Isn't That a Dilly?
Those were the words uttered by one of the inventors of the popular ice cream treat, the Dilly Bar, in 1955 at the Dairy Queen in Moorhead, Minnesota. Opened in 1949 by Bob and Phyllis Litherland, the Dairy Queen was being used as a training and testing site for new treats when someone placed a blob of ice cream on a piece of cardboard, stuck a medical tongue depressor in it, and coated it in chocolate. Originally the coating was only available in chocolate, but is now available in in cherry and butterscotch. While the process for making the Dilly Bar has since been mechanized by corporate, the Moorhead Dairy Queen still makes thousands of bars with the original process perfected by Bob Litherland every year. They can sell up to 50,000 of the bars in a single season, which typically lasts about eight months.
To visit the Moorhead Dairy Queen is a retro experience, with a walk-up ordering window and no drive through. It is also one of the few locations in the world operating under an older contract that allows them a certain amount of freedom with their menu choices. Unlike the modern DQ Grill and Chill locations, Dairy Queens with original contracts are allowed to serve throwback frozen treats, such as the Monkey Tail, a frozen banana dipped in chocolate, or the Chipper Sandwich, vanilla ice cream in a chocolate chip cookie sandwich dipped in chocolate, as well as local hot favorites, such as polish and bowls of chili. They are also able to choose their own suppliers, enabling them to support other local businesses in the process. Isn’t that a dilly?
This point of interest is part of the tour: Moorhead Historic Preservation Walking Tour