Dairy Lane: The heart of Sandersville
SANDERSVILLE, Ga. -- Anyone in Sandersville knows that Dairy Lane is its staple, where people can get coffee, spend time with locals and hear lots of interesting stories about the historic city.
Located on S. Harris St., the restaurant's doors opened in the early 1950's. Even now, Dairy Lane still gets regulars coming in for the burgers and barbecue every day.
The restaurant's owner, B.T. Walters, took over Dairy Lane when his father passed away. Walters said he remembers spending his childhood behind the counter, so he feels right at home.
"In the late 90's, I was 8- or 9-years-old, running the cash register. I used to sit on top of two Coca Cola crates so I could reach the cash register and make drinks. It's been a long time ago, but I remember coming here and working here," said Walters.
One Sandersville man, Olin Glover, said he's been going to Dairy Lane every single day since the mid-1950's.
"I've been a regular here really about starting about '55 or '56 I guess. I like the fast service they get and you can always come here. Like when I was working out at the chalk plant you could come here and get your food and get back out there in 15 minutes," said Glover.
Glover said his favorite thing on the menu is the cheeseburger, but added that it's the service and sense of community that keeps him coming back every day.
"It's home to me. It's always been my home. I moved off to Florida for about six years but it didn't take me long to get enough of Jacksonville and I came back home," Glover said.
Another Sandersville resident also has a long history with Dairy Lane. Virgie Collins has been working at the restaurant for about 50 years.
"I've never left. I've been here 50 years. And I just enjoy working with the rest of the employees and there's a lot of them that have been here almost as long as I have," said Collins. "Well since I've been working here, and we have a lot of folks, when I see a lot of them come in you know, I know them because they've been placing orders here for years and years."
That's not all - Virgie Collins' sister also works at Dairy Lane with her. She said that the two sometimes have a word with each other, but for the most part they have a great time.
Owner B.T. Walters said the roots run deep in his restaurant.
"As long as I can remember back, every time after a football game people would be in the back of the parking lot after a good football win, and if you go to the other side of the dining room there's actually a table of numbers and names carved in that we have back there just kind of a, I would say a trophy room. It's like a trophy for everyone Dairy Lane that's came. We've never moved the table, it's just where they've carved their name in. It's pretty cool to see that," Walters said.