Elected officials, business owners and chamber representatives were among those who gathered Wednesday to welcome Lebanon's newest eatery, Dairy Queen, to town.
The Lebanon store, located next to Price's Collision Center on West Main Street, opened for breakfast at 6 a.m. on Wednesday, June 22, and remained packed throughout the day.
Living up to its slogan of "Fan food, not fast food," The Wilson Post encountered one loyal customer at noon that had already visited DQ for breakfast and returned at lunch for burgers and the sweet treats which have made the restaurant iconic.
A ribbon cutting was conducted by the Lebanon Wilson County Chamber of Commerce at 10 a.m.
"I think you can see that there is a lot of excitement, especially on this side of town (west)," said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead.
Brian L. Peterson, director of real estate and development for Fourteen Foods, selected the site, working with the Wilson County JECDB (Joint Economic & Community Development Board) and the City of Lebanon. Fourteen Foods owns and operates 176 DQ Grill & Chill restaurants in 10 states, including Lebanon's,
"This site was selected because the traffic is strong through here. Hartmann Drive and West Main Street are two major thoroughfares," he said. "I like the traffic and I like being near grocery stores and in close proximity to the schools."
Peterson commended Mayor Craighead and the city for "working with us to come to town."
"It makes our company want to be there," he added. "The Mayor helped us understand what is going on here, and he is a very pro-business - great guy who can think long-term. Also, Tammy Stokes (with JECDB) was so helpful and did a great job. I look forward to working with both of them in the future and will always be available to them as a resource for future development."
Guests including County Commissioner Annette Stafford, THW Insurance owner Jud Nave and Wilson County CASA Executive Director Cathey Sweeney showed their support for the business at the ribbon cutting and Grand Opening celebration.
Chamber of Commerce Members Betty Fleming and Beulah Garrett were both impressed with the food, service and building.
"I really like the big screen TV on the wall. I would come here, especially when sports are on," Fleming said.
Garrett sampled fare including Mango Pineapple fruit smoothies, onion rings and chicken tenders. "I used to always go to the Dairy Queen when I lived in California," she said. "It is very exciting."
Staff Writer Sabrina Garrett may be contacted at email@example.com.