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Crosslake Dairy Queen to reopen

After more than a year with its doors closed, Dairy Queen in Crosslake soon will re-open with new ownership and a fresh look.

Thomas and Nicky Zabka, formerly of White Bear Lake, purchased the business Oct. 1, 2013, and planned to open this week.

The outside of the building looks noticeably different with the removal of the red roof, a new sign and a change in color scheme to orange and blue. On the inside, the couple replaced much of the kitchen equipment, installed new booth seating in the dining area, applied a fresh coat of paint and deep cleaned the whole restaurant.

The extensive remodel included tearing down the two buildings adjacent to the store to make room for a new parking lot and a drive-through window. The area in front of the building will now accommodate a patio with outdoor seating.

The business passed its health inspection March 20 and is now hiring. Per its contract with corporate Dairy Queen, the business must stay open nine months of the year, but the Zabkas said they would like to keep it open year-round.

Thomas Zabka previously managed two Dairy Queens in the metro area, but this is the first time he and his wife have owned a franchise.

Chelsey Perkins can be reached at Follow her at and on Twitter @PEJ_Chelsey.

Chelsey Perkins
Chelsey Perkins grew up in Crosslake and is a graduate of Pequot Lakes High School. She earned her Bachelor's degree in professional journalism from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities. Perkins has interned at the Lake Country Echo and the Rochester and Austin Post-Bulletins and also worked for the student-run Minnesota Daily newspaper as a copy editor and columnist during college. She went on to intern at Utne Reader magazine, where she was later hired as the research editor. Before joining the Brainerd Dispatch, Perkins worked as a staff writer for the Pineandlakes Echo Journal.
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