The Auburn University Alumni Association did more than recreate a historical landmark; they brought it back to life.
Sani-Freeze, an Auburn walk-up eatery, opened its doors once again on Sept.3, after being closed for 23 years. Reconstructing the eatery as a community service project during the summer term, the McWhorter School of Building Science partnered with the Alumni Association to help bring it back, Gretchen VanValkenburg, vice president of alumni affairs, said.
“When we announced the addition of Sani-Freeze to our hospitality tailgate earlier this summer, the response was overwhelmingly positive from our alumni and friends. They shared their own memories of going to the Sani-Freeze as students and eagerly anticipated the new version in person,” VanValkenburg said.
Customers lined the front of the Auburn Hospitality Tailgate where the new Sani-Freeze stood tall. With the help of O Town Ice Cream, alumni were transported back to their college years to reminisce on the famous mom-and-pop shop.
“We both graduated in ’78 and the Sani-Freeze was where we all hung out,” Dan and Celia Yates, Auburn alumni, said. “We wish the real one was back,” Celia Yates said.
Alumni like Keith Moyer said it’s nice to see it back again. He remembered the other food that “The Flush” used to serve.
“It was a great place you could get foot-long hot dogs with chili. Of course there’d be 100 pounds of grease with it, but it was great,” Moyer said.
“Bringing back this historical landmark on game days definitely struck a nostalgic chord with everyone,” VanValkenburg said.
The idea to remake the Sani-Freeze happened when the Alumni Association board brainstormed ways to enhance the hospitality tailgate. One of the ideas discussed was the recreation of the Sani-Freeze. Jack Fite, the alumni board president, contacted the building science department, VanValkenburg said. After that, the ball rolled quickly to reimagine this piece of Auburn history.
“Our mission is to enhance the engagement and connection of all Auburn University alumni and friends. We strive to accomplish our mission by offering fun and unique experiences for our guests,” VanValkenburg said.
With the positive feedback received from the Sani-Freeze debut before the Clemson game, VanValkenburg believed everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The Sani-Freeze continues to serve treats to alumni and fans during every home game of the 2016 Auburn football season. Opening its doors three hours before kickoff, the Sani-Freeze will make anyone crave an upside-down banana split.