Meat and three ‘Dairy King’ closes ‘until further notice’ after 50 years

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A family-owned Woodbine meat and three announced Monday it will close its doors after not being able to make ends meet amid the pandemic. 

A Facebook post from the owner of Dairy King confirmed it will be shutting its doors Aug. 3.

“Under the current conditions, we simply cannot make ends meet. We lost all catering jobs the second week of March. We cater to churches, schools, and offices so no explanation is necessary. That is 25% of our sales. We are maintaining 70% to 75% of our normal restaurant sales which translates to a 50% loss of income. We cannot pay 100% of our expenses with 50% of our income. The funding we received in April from the SBA has also been exhausted,” explained owner Jeffrey Jones in the post.

A potential buyer submitted a “letter of intent” back in February, but pulled out a few weeks later as quarantine began.

Jones described the decision to close as “difficult,” noting his family is still carrying massive debt due to the relocation of the restaurant after the historic May 2010 flood.

Flooded Dairy King
(Courtesy: Dairy King)

South Nashville’s Dairy King working to weather the storm of COVID-19

Ten years ago, the original Mill Creek location filled with six feet of water. Without even making a phone call, the community showed up to lend a hand.

“Customers, friends — we had 50-60 people down there trying to evacuate that place,” Jones recalled. “We filled up two 17-foot U-Haul trucks with gear and food and we got a lot out.”

“Toward the end we were in knee deep water, just had a human chain getting the can goods off the shelf. I mean, air conditioners, ice cream machines, just so much went out into those trucks,” remembered Jones.

He worried they wouldn’t be able to re-open, but six months later, they had a new spot and a line of customers at lunchtime.

“At that point, I had to turn it over and keep the faith. I didn’t know what to do but the Lord takes care of fools and children, so I guess he took care of us. That’s all I can say.”

The Lord and the army of loyal supporters that line up every day for the family’s country cooking.

“It’s all my grandmothers or my mother’s recipes. The southern style meat n three. Fried pork chops and white beans mashed potatoes and fresh cabbage, home-made peach cobbler.”

But when the coronavirus hit, the meat and three sat silent again, and now may never reopen its doors to the community it has served for over 50 years.

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