Another in our new blog series all about those iconic Nashville-area places and things that could one day wind up in a Memories of Nashville show, but don’t need to yet. Inspired by the near-loss of Elliston Soda Place in the summer of 2011, we want to highlight those places that have been open for decades, but are maybe taken for granted and not patronized regularly. In this edition, Bobbie’s Dairy Dip in West Nashville.
Bobbie’s Dairy Dip
Location: 5301 Charlotte Ave., Nashville, TN 37209
History: A West Nashville institution, this old fashioned dairy bar is a blast from the past that manages to offer kitschy appeal to people of all ages. Charlotte Avenue has changed over the years, but apart from a few coats of paint, and changes in ownership, Bobbie’s has remained largely the same for six decades. From classic burgers and hot dogs to hot fudge sundaes and hand-dipped cones, Bobbie’s has been serving up classic malt shop fare since 1951. But while Bobbie’s is stuck in the past, not all the food is. There are more recent additions to the fare (like veggie burgers and sweet potato fries) and the food is made-to-order from the highest quality (the burgers are Angus and the potatoes are hand cut). As an old-fashioned dairy bar, there is no drive-thru, and no indoor seating, but there are quite a few picnic tables and plenty of room for people watching.
Why Go? It’s impossible to pay a visit to Bobbie’s or even drive by without finding yourself smiling at the cheerful establishment. The 1950’s architecture pops in shades of lime green and bright pink. The ceiling fans, picnic tables, curb and umbrellas are coordinated to match and brightly colored lights hang from the roof. The sounds of Elvis, the Supremes, Buddy Holly and the like blast from the speakers, while people mill about happily eating ice cream cones and burgers. On any given day, the parking lot and picnic tables are crammed with Little League teams, families, businessmen, dog walkers, college students and out-of-towners. Most will be enjoying ice cream. That’s the big draw to Bobbie’s, and largely why they’ve remained so popular. There are sundaes, fudge cake, banana splits, chocolate covered bananas and soft-serve cones hand-dipped in chocolate or peanut butter or cherry or butterscotch (flavors routinely change). And then there are the milkshakes. Bobbie’s has a “specialty” milk shake list to rival Dairy Queen. From fruit to candy to coffee to bacon, if you want it in your milkshake, Bobbie’s will provide it. When you go, be prepared for a wait and don’t forget your saddle shoes.
Bobbie’s operates seasonally and usually closes its shutters November – February.
Current Hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-8pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-9pm, Sunday 12pm-8pm. Note: Kitchen closes about an hour earlier but ice cream is served right up until closing.
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