Buona, Dairy Queen coming to Schererville

Buona has 19 Italian Beef restaurants in Chicagoland, including the one pictured above in Chicago's Beverly neighborhood. The chain plans to open an eatery in Schererville this year.

Schererville is going to get another new restaurant, and an old favorite is coming back.

The fast-growing Italian Beef chain Buona, which has 19 locations throughout Chicagoland, plans to open a restaurant in Schererville, its first in Indiana and first anywhere outside of Illinois. Dairy Queen, which was replaced by Dairy Belle on U.S. 30, also is coming back to a new location on the highway.

Town manager Robert Volkmann said both fast food eateries should open this year.

Berwyn-based Buona is a 36-year-old chain that specializes in Italian Beef, Chicago-style hot dogs, Italian sausage, meatball subs, pepper and egg sandwiches and other Chicago fare. Buona, which has locations throughout the Chicago suburbs and at both Guaranteed Rate Field and Wrigley Field, serves its beef dry, dipped, baptized or dunked, red with marinara sauce, or the Buona way, or served in gravy with an extra spoonful on top.

The Schererville Buona will be built at the old Krispy Kreme site on Indianapolis Boulevard where a developer plans to add a McAlister's Deli and retail shops, Volkmann said. Construction is slated to start this year.

Buona did not immediately return messages.

Dairy Queen also plans a return to Schererville and is looking at a location at the corner of U.S. 30 and Austin Avenue, across the street from the Dairy Belle that replaced it in 2015, Volkmann said. The local franchisee who owned the previous Dairy Queen in Schererville decided to close, he said.

But the Schererville location always did good business and Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen has filed plans with the town to return to U.S. 30 with a Grill and Chill that would serve hot food like hamburgers and hot dogs. Dairy Queen, which has nearly 4,800 ice cream parlors across the United States, is best known for its soft serve ice cream, Dilly Bars, and Blizzards.

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.