The tiny building that housed an ice cream shop along Grand Haven’s Harbor Drive for more than 70 years was razed Saturday afternoon.
Owners Jim and Kim Goldman assured fans of the longtime local business that this isn’t the end for Dairy Treat – it will be rebuilt as part of a development on the property at 218 S. Harbor Ave.
“Same ice cream, same service, same smiles – just a new building,” the Goldmans said in an email sent to the Tribune on Monday. “See you in 2020!”
According to the Goldmans, the Dairy Treat building that was recently razed was built in 1948 by Norm Engleright, who took down a home on the lot at the corner of Harbor and Lafayette streets to make room for the building.
Dave and Marilyn Horton purchased the business from Richard Prucker in 1969. The Hortons decided not to continue the business as a Dairy Queen franchise, instead going out on their own and renaming it Dairy Treat.
The Hortons owned and operated Dairy Treat for 30 years before selling it to their daughter, Kim Goldman, and her husband, Jim.
“The building is old and in need of many updates – heat, air conditioning, handicap accessiblity – and a more functional platform to serve our customers and a better work environment for the hundreds of local teens we will continue to employ,” the Goldmans said in their email. “We are so excited to still be here for our customers.”
In February, the Goldmans submitted plans to the city of Grand Haven and its Planning Commission to build a three-story development on the property.
Dairy Treat would be located on the ground floor, with four condo units occupying the second and third floors.
The plans created controversy with neighboring property owner Rick Grassman, who argued that the new construction should be set farther back from Harbor Drive to “maintain the character of the neighborhood.”
After a months-long appeal process, the city’s Zoning Board of Appeals in July voted 4-0 to uphold the Planning Commission’s approval of the project’s site plan.