Restaurant serves New Hope community with good memories, ice cre - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Bobby's Bama

Restaurant serves New Hope community with good memories, ice cream 61 years


It's a place where people have been gathering for decades, Dot's Dairy Den located in New Hope. 

"My mom, she built this in 1955 for the children to have a place to go for ice cream," said Jan Mahan, daughter of Houston and Dot Key.

It was an idea that must have worked, because they are celebrating 61 years in business.  

"And when these people come in and they have, you know the little ones, and they're sitting on the stool, and you know how time goes by so fast, the next thing you know they're in high school and I'm like, 'Oh you can not be that same little girl or boy that sat on the stool and said they wanted an 'I creme,'?" she said.

Mahan said back when her parent's first started the business, ice cream cones were only a nickel.

"And my dad said all he could think of was how many nickel ice cream cones it was going to take to pay for this place," Mahan said.

But her parent's dream is one that has endured.

"It's a place you always came to and people accumulated here and when you skipped school you came here," said New Hope graduate Steve Payne.

 And many former New Hope students that come to Dot's all have similar memories.

"We used to kick off out of school and come down here and Mr. Ely, Mr. Charles Ely, was principal back then and he wasn't bad.  He knew what was going on and when he would come in the door we would, we would, we'd see him get out or he would walk down here usually. We'd see him walking and we would get behind the counter and lay down on the floor behind the counter, and he would come in and say, 'Okay boys let's go,' and he'd never even see us," said Payne.

Mahan said she feels wonderful and blessed to be sharing in her parent's blessings for this long and hopefully for many more years to come.

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