Snow White Drive-In owner Billy Wyatt is one “happy camper” after learning late Tuesday evening that his iconic restaurant will not have to move to a new location.
Property owner Greg Dugdale told Wyatt the news on Tuesday. Dugdale said Speedway, which was planning to build a gas station on the property, sent a letter telling him the company was not going to extend its contract.
“I was a very happy camper, so were my employees,” Wyatt said.
“I put it on Facebook [Tuesday] night and had over 15,000 people see it and over 500 likes in an hour and a half,” Wyatt said.
According to Dugdale, Speedway officials gave no specific reason for not extending the contract but he added, “These are large corporations and there are hundreds of reasons.
“There were some provisions for extensions and they sent a letter to say that they choose not to extend,” said Dugdale.
Wyatt has owned the Snow White for about four years now, but it’s been in his family – on and off – for about 23 years. He said Jimmy Reed owned it when Wyatt’s mother, Ann Birdwell, was manager there, and his sister was a waitress. Birdwell bought the business and had it for about 12 years before selling it to someone from Mt. Juliet, who then sold it to a Lebanon man a year later.
A year after that, it closed for about two years before Birdwell bought it back, and eventually Wyatt bought it from her.
Wyatt said that the restaurant got in an order of t-shirts last month, and he had requests to have them sent as far away as New Jersey and California. He even mentioned people from other countries that have become friends of the establishment on Facebook.
Dugdale said he and Wyatt are currently discussing a new lease agreement for the restaurant.
“He was really excited and I’m happy for him,” Dugdale said.