Vestal's new town supervisor says she knows nothing about the recent report that a Dairy Queen restaurant is to be opened on the site of a long-vacant eatery.

Maria Sexton was asked about town board member Stephen Donnelly's social media post that the Vestal Parkway property once occupied by a Friendly's restaurant would be "the future home of Dairy Queen."

When asked about that, Sexton replied "I wish! We wish. We all love Dairy Queen." But she said town engineering and code enforcement officials have received no inquiries about the property. She said other town board members were not aware of any deals involving the site.

A sign at the shuttered Friendlys restaurant in Vestal. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
A sign at the shuttered Friendly's restaurant in Vestal. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Sexton said she had spoken to Donnelly about the possibility of a Dairy Queen opening at the site and he indicated he'd had conversations with those involved in such a project. But she said "I have no personal knowledge of it nor do the other councilmembers."

Donnelly told WNBF News on Friday afternoon: "I can absolutely assure those conversations took place." He declined to identify the prospective franchise operator but he said he expected the necessary paperwork would be filed with the town later this year.

Donnelly said he and former town supervisor John Schaffer had discussions with the potential Dairy Queen operator.

An abandoned Pizza Hut restaurant on the Vestal Parkway East on January 3, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
An abandoned Pizza Hut restaurant on the Vestal Parkway East on January 3, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Donnelly said the planned business on the Vestal Parkway would be a Dairy Queen Grill & Chill restaurant. He said the prospective operator intends to use both the old Friendly's property and the adjacent site where a closed Pizza Hut restaurant now stands.

Donnelly said he expects construction for the new restaurant project will start in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

The two idle restaurant properties are owned by a Corning-based entity that operates the neighboring Tru by Hilton hotel.

A sign at a Dairy Queen store in Maryland. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
A sign at a Dairy Queen store in Maryland. (Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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