On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty hot dogs to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
The candy kitchen's massive copper kettle predating World War II is certainly an eye catcher, but the nostalgic sights and smells of candy filling rows of white shelves is what overwhelms most people when they step inside Kilwins. For more than two generations, the original recipes of founders Don and Katy Kilwin have been used to handcraft more than 75 confections such as chocolates, caramels, and specialty fudge. Aside from some newer equipment, head candy cook Bill Hoffman and his team still abide by Don’s candy-making methods and use original equipment when possible. Inside the old-fashioned candy shop, a burnished copper-kettle-fire mixer fashions each piece of peanut brittle, a cold room solidifies almond-toffee crunch, and a manatee that swallowed a freezer still makes every sea-foam candy. In addition to candy, Kilwins has created more than 32 flavors of original-recipe ice cream since 1985 with farm-fresh rBHT-free milk and cream from Michigan farms.
One Stop Coney Shop serves up a menu of freshly grilled burgers and heartily topped frankfurters in a variety of equally appetizing forms—savor one of the two meaty mainstays in a combo deal, served with a cone of Belgian fries and a small drink. Gourmet wiener aficionados can consume Coney Island–style dogs with a number of juicy selections, such as the Flint-style dog ($5.38), buried under Flint-style chili, onion, and mustard, or the southern-coleslaw-style Slaw Dawg ($5.38). Pledge allegiance to burgerdom with the Canadian blue burger ($6.46), topped with blue cheese and Canadian bacon, or subtly hint at your radish upbringing with the veggie burger ($6.98), flavored with grilled onions and dill shreddies. And like a loose-cannon cop who needs a by-the-book partner to balance out his maverick meat-eating tendencies, each burger or hot-dog combo comes paired with crispy-yet-fluffy Belgian fries.
The Sparrows Coffee Tea & Newsstand is stocked with an impressive array of brewables, steepables, and munchables. The cozy beverage boutique serves up more than 30 loose-leaf teas by the classic cup ($2.50) for calming down even the most stressed-out Depression-era baseball players. Iced green and black teas ($1.90) are also available to cool customers down on hot summer days. A bevy of fair-trade bean-juice options will perk up the thirsty without causing moral jitters. Throw back a shot of espresso ($1.90) for a no-frills energy punch, or flirt with the foam atop a decadent mocha ($3.75) during a relaxed rendezvous at the café. Bottomless house coffee ($3.50) is available for the supersleepy or those who've been boycotting cup bottoms ever since they started supporting big-box retail chains. If you crave creativity, opt for a customizable bubble tea ($3.75–$4.25) and let the tapioca beads act as a delightfully textured muse.
The folks at Cheshire Nails strive to elevate nailcare from a mere series of treatments to a full-blown experience. Therefore, they offer VIP and hot-stone spa packages that turn simple manicures and pedicures into lavish journeys, comforting feet and hands with citrus-honey sugar wraps, marine masks, and massages that feature the soft kiss of butter creams. But the emphasis on embellishments in no way detracts from the salon's bread and butter. The technicians groom nails with precision and zeal, filing and shaping nails before layering on OPI and Shellac polishes, which can turn even the most accusatory finger wag into a gesture that emotes pure class.