Dairy King Drive in

4 May

Diary King

306 E Thompson Lane
Nashville, TN 37211
by Ross Denton!

Not to be confused with Dairy Queen, Dairy King is a local Nashville Meat and three rich in local history and full of quality food. Originally owned by Bubba Hudelston and operated by George Gambell for 50 years, Dairy king has a long and standing history in Nashville. It is estimated to have been around since the late 40’s. Dudly and Thelma Jones bought the business from Bill Harbirson in April 1970.  Originally Dairy King was like any other fast food restaurant during that time in that the food was not home cooked and they only really sold burgers. Dairy King was located next to the Wee Tee mini golf field and it was the ideal hangout for teens and their dates because they could have a good meal and play a game of golf all in one convenient location. Unfortunately the Wee Tee mini golf course closed down and  Dairy King began to lose business. So the Jones’s decided to change a few things and make their restaurant a little different by providing home cooked dishes with the fast food, originally just beans and cornbread, but that grew to more dishes and eventually they stopped selling fast food all together and became a tried and true meat and three style restaurant. This turned out to be a wonderful idea, because they have had excellent business ever since.

Like all things in life, Dairy King has had its downsides, In 1979, flood waters rose up out of Mill Creek and damaged the Dairy King building with six feet of water. but they were able to rebuild and they kept going. At that time it was still legal to build a restaurant in a floodplain. It wasn’t until the may 2010 flood that the building was all but destroyed, and modern building permits wouldn’t allow the restaurant to rebuild in a designated flood plain anymore.

So the Jones’ moved location down the street on Murfreesboro road and are still up and running. Their sign however remains in the original location like a testament to the history of a proud restaurant that once occupied that space for 70 years. Jeff Jones the manager of Dairy King spoke of moving the sign from its original location to their new location but he says, “the public has an attachment to the sign and the original location”. He still intends to move the sign.

The sign itself has seemingly unknown origins “I really don’t have positive proof of the original install date on the sign. I know it was there when we bought the place in 1970. However I am assuming it was there many years before that.”-Jeff Jones . Dairy King had been around for almost 30 years before the Jones family bought the restaurant and the original owners passed away long ago.

The restaurant now is still serving up quality home cooked meals. The employees are all happy, you can tell that they enjoy working there and they enjoy who they work with. Mr.Jones explained that this is because he doesn’t hire employees, he adopts family.

    Also, if you intend to go to Dairy King, I highly suggest a chocolate fried pie, they are quite possibly the best in the land.




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