A Mount Juliet landmark gets new life, retains old charm
By Sue Siens
Photos by Chesley Summar
You might do a double-take as you drive down Lebanon Road in Mount Juliet, and wonder, “Is that a new building?”
The iconic Dairy Queen building, where sweet treats and burgers were served from the early 1960’s until it closed a few years ago, is now the Mount Juliet business home of Bentley’s Heating & Air Conditioning Company. When Bill Bentley, co-owner of the company, looked for a location to expand their heating and air conditioning services into Mount Juliet, the well-known Dairy Queen building provided the perfect location.
“We saw the potential for growth in Mount Juliet. When we moved into Mount Juliet in January, 2014, we began looking for a permanent location for our new offices,” said Bentley. “Everyone remembers and loved the Dairy Queen, and the location has great visibility on Lebanon Road, so we purchased the vacant building.”
Bentley’s Heating and Air Conditioning is a family-owned business, with their original office founded in Wilson County in 1945 by Bill’s grandfather, Grady Bentley, and later owned and operated for many years by Bill’s parents, Mackey and Judy Bentley.
“We are all about service,” said Bill, “and we will offer “Free Filter Fridays” at our Mount Juliet location, where on Fridays we will give a free filter to anyone who comes by to visit us. And, because the Dairy Queen reminds all of us of ice cream, we decided to give out free ice cream, too. We still have the original ice cream machine that was in the building,” noted Bentley.
Bill and wife Stephanie sought the help of local award-winning design and construction specialist, Elizabeth Scruggs, owner of Superior Construction and Design, to assist with the renovation project.
“I was honored and excited to be a part of this project,” said Scruggs. “The challenge was to redesign the building into practical office space, and still maintain the family-friendly atmosphere that the public remembers from the Dairy Queen days.”
Superior Construction and Design, awarded the 2015 Best of Service Award by Houzz.com, worked with the Bentleys for about six months to complete the project. “We included a few of the original restaurant booths into the plan, and also kept the drive-thru. It’s a beautiful blend of old and new,” said Scruggs.
The Bentleys want to encourage the community to stop in and visit their beautifully renovated building. “We want people to feel at home at Bentley’s Heating and Air, just like they did at Dairy Queen,” said Bill. “We are very happy with the way the building turned out, and we are enjoying being a part of the thriving Mount Juliet community,” he said.
The company’s Mount Juliet location has 15 employees, with future employment expected to be about 35. For more information about Bentleys Heating and Air Conditioning, visit them at 11674 Lebanon Road and online at www.bentleysheatandcool.com, and contact Superior Construction and Design at www.superior-construction-and-design.com.