28 The QUEE NS Courier • AUGUST 18, 2016 for breaking news visit www.qns.com Astoria T-shirt company hopes to give you a Queens history lesson on the go By Candace Higgins email@example.com/@QNS Enchanted by the intricate history of our borough, one Astoria company decided to make it into a T-shirt line. And so World’s Fair 1964 or Astoria Diving Club 1936 are back on T-shirts and canvas bags thanks to Unified Queens, a company launched this past July. When designing his first products, the founder Robert Duffy worked with a premise: “If people learn about new bands from commercials these days, maybe they can accidentally get a history lesson with a T-shirt?” Duffy told The Courier that when he moved to Astoria last year, he was struck by how expansive the history of the borough was. “I’d visit Astoria Park and be mesmerized by the abandoned diving board at the pool. When I learned that it was used to conduct Olympic trials in 1936, it sent me down a history rabbit hole! I felt like this, and other historic events and symbols from Queens’ great past would make great designs on clothing and apparel,” Duffy said. “From there we designed a shirt to honor the World’s Fair and also used symbols from an old Queens borough flag on our ‘Queen of Unispheres’ design,” he continued. Besides designing and selling apparel, Unified Queens decided to document their journey as a small business on a company blog and thereby to connect with other small business in the area to share ideas, learn best practices, and be a great neighbor to everyone around. “As part of our journey with Unified Queens, I wanted to list every decision we’ve made that has led up to launching our online shop,” Duffy wrote in a blog dedicated to the selection of suitable e-commerce platform. “I’m not saying what we did was the right way, I’m just saying it’s the path we went down.” While they are selling several vintage Queens-themed products on their website, if you prefer shopping IRL, you can swing by Artist and Fleas Market at 70 North Seventh in Williamsburg on Aug. 13 where Unified Queens has a stand. On Sept. 18, look for them at Ridgewood Market at 657 Fairvew Ave. in Ridgewood. Photo courtesy of Unified Queens Expect a lot more Dairy Queen in Queens as the franchise plans a massive expansion in NY By Katarina Hybenova firstname.lastname@example.org @kamelka A whole lot of soft serve ice cream and other signature treats from Dairy Queen are coming to Queens as the chain plans a massive expansion in New York state. Within the next decade, Dairy Queen plans to open no less than 100 locations in the “Empire State” with a focus on New York City and its boroughs. “If we’re able to identify a qualified franchisee partner to build in Queens, it is a great place for the brand to grow,” Vice President of Franchise Development at International Dairy Queen Inc. Jim Kerr told The Courier. The brand currently runs 40 restaurants in the state, five of them in New York City, and only one in Queens — at Corona’s Junction Boulevard. In September, they are opening another franchise in Staten Island. “Right now, we average about four to five new locations a year in the state. We would like to kick it up to 10 per year in the state,” explained Kerr. The expansion will focus on DQ Grill & Chill concept, which is “the newest twist to the classic and highly recognized Dairy Queen brand restaurant, which dates back to 1940,” according to Kerr. The concept blends the classic Dairy Queen with the most modern innovation in quick service food and design. The DQ Grill & Chill restaurant interior will also bring an openair grill, as well as separate “grill” and “chill” sections. New York can expect booths and large wooden tables, warm lighting, and music. According to Kerr, each new DQ Grill & Chill provides 50 to 100 job opportunities. The mother company, International Dairy Queen Inc., is currently on the lookout for potential independent franchise operators interested in opening a DQ Grill & Chill restaurant, as well as real estate properties. What do you think, Queens? Does Dairy Queen stand a chance in the artisanal and organic-obsessed New York? Photo: Wikimedia Commons Expect a whole lot more Dairy Queen in Queens in the next decade.
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