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Sandersville's Dairy Lane combats COVID-19 in unusual way

B.T. Walters and his crew covered the counter from the ceiling on down with plastic to keep customers and employees safe.

SANDERSVILLE, Ga. — Dairy Lane started in 1953, serving up treats ice cream and slaw dogs. The guy that started it wanted a Dairy Queen franchise and he got denied, so he said, 'Well, I'm going to start my own place,' and it's been there ever since, but things look a little different these days thanks to COVID-19.

B.T. Walters owns and runs the hot spot.

"It started out just a little ol' ice cream parlor," he recalled.

B.T.'s dad owned it in the '90s, and he's grown up inside these walls.

"I used to stand up at the front counter on the old Coca-Cola crates," he reminisced. The kid had fun, but the adult had to navigate through something completely foreign -- coronavirus.

B.T. said when the pandemic began, they were working on putting in a drive-through, but it hadn't come together yet.

"So all the other businesses in town like the Zaxby's, McDonald's, they were able to shut down inside and do business in the drive-through -- we didn't have that," he said.

He says his crew had an idea -- spend $400 and put in an unusual barrier.

"Put plastic cover over the whole entire front counter, cut some holes where we could take money and put food out. To this day, it's still working," he said with a smile.

Today, the drive-through is up and going, one more modern convenience creeping in, but this is a vintage restaurant tackling today's problems to keep their employees and customers safe.

"We have the old menu boards that we have to take down and that's what everyone knows us by, but when you walk in, you say, 'Wow, they're kind of stepping up,' and that's what we're doing -- stepping up in the community to protect them," he stated.

B.T. has also opened a Dairy Lane in Milledgeville.

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