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At The DQ In Niantic It’s A Family Affair

This Dairy Queen in Niantic, Connecticut (Niantic is a village in the town of East Lyme) will be 60-years old next year. It got it’s start in 1952. Paul Bobinski and his wife, Josephine took the place over a year later, bought it from relatives who were already in the DQ business, and the rest is history.

Paul is now about to turn 90 in December and he and his family are still in love with the place. His kids worked at the store and now the grand kids are involved. So you have three generations of Bobinskis at the DQ in Niantic.

A lot has changed over the decades. The store is no longer free standing as you see in the photo up top and the DQ parent company no longer allows franchisers to make or bring in their own toppings. Paul used to make a blue berry topping for ice cream that everybody loved. Even so, this is a family business and it’s individualized that way.

When the Bobinskis first opened the place, Niantic only had about 3,000 residents, so this was a big time meeting place, especially in the summer so close to the beach. The village is now about 17,000.

It’s a very weather-driven business, so they’ve been through good times and bad but still have a love for it. During the off season Paul would teach in Old Saybrook and Groton, he did that up until 1984, and he had other jobs as well. Everything was centered around the ice cream shop and still is.

Come to find out that this place figured into the life of the late beloved Connecticut Governor, Ella Grasso. Paul told me she had a summer place down on the shoreline and come and get her ice cream cones at his place during the summer months.

The family is so excited about coming up on the landmark 60 years in business date, that they’re gathering stories on a Facebook page called “We Love the Niantic Dairy Queen.” Click on it and “like” the page and share your story about the place. They would love to read it as they reminisce about all the years serving up cones.

This is the stuff of Americana and I just love it.



  1. Joe Bobinski
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Love the article on my family. Thanks

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:32 am | Permalink

      Joe, you’ve got a great family!

  2. Pam Corse Sosnowski
    Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    I remember as a kid the excitement of the opening day of the season each yr! And when Joe was a teenager he was very generous w/ the butterscotch dip .. he use to double dip mine for me :),Thanks Joe & family for all the wonderful times had by ALL that went to your D Q !!!!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted June 25, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

      Pam, what wonderful memories you have!

  3. Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    What a fantastic article! Some of the best times of my youth were spent at the Niantic DQ! My mom would always take me down there when I was little and Mrs. B would give me a cone with cherry dip and my mom and I would enjoy an ice cream together. As I got older, in high school it was the place to go after baseball games, or playing hoop at Niantic Center School, or after seeing a movie at the Niantic Cinemas, hoping to run into the hot girls in town! My friends and I still do the movie thing and the DQ trip at least once a summer. Some of those friends live in various parts of the country but make it back once a year so we can get together and head to the DQ and I still share an ice cream with mom there as well. Great place! Thanks to Mr. B and his family for great memories and for providing a great place to hang out!

    • Ann Nyberg
      Posted June 25, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Permalink

      Tim, thanks so much for sharing those wonderful times, it takes me back too!