The Dip is a favorite local restaurant and the oldest restaurant in DeSoto County. Lee Lauderdale opened up the business at its current location during the summer of 1947. With an extensive menu and rich history, the walk-up restaurant captures what it was like to dine on fast food post-World War II. A popular place to eat to this day, The Dip is an important piece of DeSoto County's history and the Hernando community.
founder Lee Lauderdale opened the business in what was once a cotton field on
his home property. Lauderdale sold
hamburgers, vanilla ice cream, bottled root beer, and Cokes out of the
400-square foot building. He hired his family members as well as local
school-aged kids to help out. Today, the place remains a “walk-up” fast food
restaurant as it originally was during the post World War II era.
the Velvet Cream’s official website,
“In 1962, Tom B. Flinn, Sr. bought the
Velvet Cream lot and began to expand its offerings.”1
For example, thanks to the
purchase of a new ice cream machine, the restaurant was able to offer not just
vanilla ice cream, but chocolate and mixed as well, an impressive feat during its time. Eventually,
the restaurant added chocolate, strawberry, and pineapple sundaes, vanilla,
chocolate, strawberry, and pineapple milkshakes, and onion rings, a fast food
item that gained much popularity in the late 60s, to the menu.
of a drive thru was invented in 1975, and one was added at The Dip in November
1977, making it the first restaurant in the Mid-south to have one, even before McDonald's. According to the restaurant’s website,
“When the Drive Thru first opened,
employees frequently had to go outside and explain how to place an order. The
patrons of the day were used to Drive-up service, but Drive-Thru service was
new altogether. To handle the increased traffic, the Building was enlarged to
700 square feet with a Drive-Thru wing and a back room for storage.”1
Due to the
expansion of the town and the opening of several competing fast food restaurants,
the future of the once lone restaurant in town was questionable. The restaurant’s
survival strategy focused on improving the menu itself. In the 1980s, the restaurant extensively
expanded the list of food items it offered.
“Velvet Cream became the place where one could buy anything they could
ever think of getting at a fast food place.”1