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Local

Dairy Queen headed to Batavia at former Moo La La site

BATAVIA – The now-closed Moo La La ice cream store at 1134 W. Wilson St. in Batavia has been purchased by Noble Stores LLC, and it will be converted back to a Dairy Queen with a store opening this spring, officials said.

Noble Stores, based in Grafton, Wis., is the original Dairy Queen franchise, founded in 1940 by Sherb Noble, who opened the very first Dairy Queen in Joliet, the company announced in a statement.

The Wilson Street building initially was constructed and operated as a Dairy Queen. Tom and Debi Kowske of Batavia operated it as a Dairy Queen starting in 1998, then as an independent ice cream store called Moo La La since 2009.

Moo La La has been closed since last fall. The Kowskes did not return voicemail messages seeking comment.

Joe Rintelman, spokesman for Noble Stores, said this will be the eighth store the company will operate. Noble owns the Dairy Queen in Geneva, one store in Momence, one in Bourbonnais and two each in Aurora and Kankakee, he said.

“We are hoping to open in March, but we are not ready to commit to a date yet,” Rintelman said. “We are extremely excited to open a store in Batavia.”

The new owners are transitioning the building to their needs, including cleaning, installing new signs and upgrading the IT system.

Noble Stores chooses to run the business themselves rather than lease out franchise rights, Rintelman said.

“We are a franchise ... all part of the International Dairy Queen system, [but] we only serve treats, no food at ours,” Rintelman said. “We still make ice cream novelties by hand. We do not use high-fructose corn syrup. Sherb was a real purist. It wasn’t until after his death in 1991 that we introduced chocolate.”

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