It took just 91 days from ground breaking to doors opening for the new Dairy Queen in North Leesville.

Mayor Rick Allen along with co-owner Patrick Smyth were able to finish this project 47 days sooner than the national average, Allen said. “We have the home field advantage – I’ve been in business here since 1998 and already have connections with local subcontractors. We are all about buying and spending locally.”

Due to its location at 190 Alexandria Highway, Allen thinks the Dairy Queen will be successful. He is banking on a business chain reaction in the area. “We need to push Leesville north,” he said. “Nobody wanted to be the first to take the risk and start a new business up here, so I decided I would do it.”

On Friday from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m., the Dairy Queen was open by invitation for “friends and family” to come in for free food, drinks, and ice cream. The restaurant was bustling and the parking lot in constant revolution with cars passing by the drive-through window.

All 80 employees worked at one point or another during the event. “This is great training for them,” Allen said. “It gives them the chance to work with all team members.”

The Dairy Queen officially opened yesterday. Hours of operation are 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. every day.