The Sani-Freeze – AKA The Flush – Auburn Landmark
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Despite living in Auburn for a couple of years, there are places I’ve only heard about. The Sani-Freeze was one of those Auburn landmarks I never knew firsthand. But for many Auburn Alumni and people others who called Auburn, Alabama, home, Barber’s Sani-Freeze is a beloved memory.
The building itself started life as The Doll House, a sandwich shop that was opened in the late 1930s. The Doll House lasted until around 1952 when the building was rented and re-opened as a dairy bar. Barber’s Sani-Freeze was a legend that would grow beyond the footprint of that tiny building in downtown Auburn.
Those not from Auburn may wonder why so many called the Sani-Freeze, The Flush. From what I’ve been told and read, that was because of the unfortunate coincidence that around the same time as the Sani-Freeze opened, Sani-Flush advertisements hit the air. Sani-Flush was a toilet bowl cleaner. And it was virtually inevitable someone made the mental calculation that the Flush would be a funny nickname for the little eatery. And it was one that stuck!
By the time I came to call Auburn home, The Flush had moved to a strip mall. A bank that owned the property ended the lease so that they could use the property for a new bank branch. There were initially plans to move the building but it was soon determined that the structure wouldn’t survive moving. The strip mall location never had the same air of authenticity and slipped quietly into the pages of Auburn history a few years later. Honestly if I ever visited the Sani-Freeze in its last incarnation, I don’t recall it, but hearing people who went to Auburn before me talk about it makes me sad I never knew the magic of that Auburn landmark that so many miss.
This was a highly requested Auburn print after people saw my War Eagle Supper Club print. And despite knowing it by reputation only I wanted to honor the memory of Barber’s Sani-Freeze, another lost piece of Auburn history. I would love if you took a moment to let me know if this auburn artwork brings back memories of your years at Auburn? And if you want to share any anecdotes about the Flush, please feel free!
G Tucker –
It brings tears to my eyes to remember this. Back in the 60’s my parents owned the Sani-Freeze. My mother ran the store and my father worked for Barber’s Dairy.
That’s where the sign originated.
Thank you for the memory.