Staff Photo by Lori Yount -- After closing for a few months last year, Dub's Place in Red Bank is open and ready to continue the tradition of serving shakes and small burgers.
Red Bank little league baseball players for decades made some of their sweetest memories piling up to the window of Dub’s Place after summer games to buy dipped cones or milk shakes.
Now one such little leaguer — with his Dixie Youth League days not that far behind him — is reopening its doors for generations of Red Bank residents and many memories to come.
“We have a lot of regulars,” said new owner, Heath Autry, 20. “They grew up here. They like everything we have to offer. Pretty much, it’s a tradition — that’s how they see it.”
It was less than a year ago the shake and burger joint closed and was put up for sale after Henry Mincke, who was renting the space and running Dub’s and his Skinny Pig Barbecue out of it, was found shot dead in the parking lot.
Mr. Autry had worked at Dub’s for more than three years as a teenager, but didn’t know Mr. Mincke. When he saw the “for sale” sign in the window, he wanted to help Dub’s Place recover.
Staff Photo by Lori Yount -- Heath Autry discusses a work schedule Tuesday morning with Hailey Reeves, his cousin who has helped by working shifts at Dub's Place. Mr. Autry, 20, bought the ice cream and burger joint in November with the help of his parents.
He called the owners, Greg Johnson and Greg Hewitt, to hash things out.
“I worked here for so long, I already knew how to work the place,” Mr. Autry said. “I just had to figure out how to manage it,” he said with a grin.
With financial, emotional and physical support from his parents, Steve and Carmen Autry, Heath Autry bought the place in November and began cleaning it up for its March opening while he was still working as a mechanic.
“It was a no-brainer,” father Steve Autry said. “Dub’s is a Red Bank tradition. I’m glad to se we could bring it back up.”
Steve Autry said he started frequenting Dub’s in the 1960s as a high schooler, as many of the current “regulars” did.
“We wanted to make sure it was the original Dub’s,” he said, adding they returned to the original menu favorites of milk shakes, malts and small burgers, which are made of loose ground beef instead of patties.
Dub’s Place first opened in the early 1950s originally as a Dairy Delight franchise, Heath Autry said. After the owner decided not to stay with the chain, it was called by his nickname “Dub.”
Father and son said they are also interested in preserving Dub’s memories in addition to allowing families to make new ones. They have started collecting prints of photos of the place throughout the decades, back when there wasn’t an indoor air conditioned waiting area and all.
In fact, Steve Autry said the man who put up the arrow in front of the parking lot stopped by since the restaurant reopened to share his memories.
So far, business is rocking along, Heath Autry said, and he hopes to extend the store’s opening past the usual summer season and only take off a couple months in the winter.
With a customers like Terry Williams, who first came as a little leaguer in the 1960s, he might have a good chance.
“It’s all just as good,” Mr. Williams said while waiting for a take-out lunch of a vanilla malt and patty burger. “I’m glad it’s open.”
4408 Dayton Blvd.
Tuesday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Friday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Sunday, Noon to 9 p.m.