Frostee Freeze celebrated

Published 5:08 pm Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Martha Whitworth and her family, owners of the Frostee Freeze Drive-In, were recently honored by the Tennessee General Assembly for the restaurant’s 60th year of operation.

The Frostee Freeze Drive-In was opened in 1956 by founders Bill and Bobbie June Rutherford. Martha Sowder Whitworth and Jerry Sowder took over management in 1978. Now, the second generation of owners and operators, Cari-Anne Oakes and Beth Selvey — along with their children, Olivia Wilson, Zoe Selvey and Emma Selvey — as well as a great staff, continue providing delicious meals and exemplary service to their customers.

Frostee Freeze has become the oldest restaurant in Claiborne County and is a staple in the Tazewell area that is loved by the town’s people.

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The restaurant is well-known not just in Claiborne County or around the region, but far beyond as people coming through the area stop in for a meal and tell their friends about this unique food establishment. Former Claiborne residents come home to eat at the Frostee quite often as well.

Eleanor Yoakum, along with State Sen. Frank Niceley and State Rep. Jerry Sexton, presented a plaque to Whitworth and her family to honor this special anniversary.

”I remember as a child from about seven to eight years old, all the way up to my teenage years, going to visit my grandparents in Middlesboro,” said Sexton. “We would stop there and get food, sometimes a custard.”

“I have fond memories of that place,” he said. “It was always a treat to us kids to stop and get an ice cream or a custard there.”

Although it now has a dining room, the Frostee Freeze is best known as an old-fashioned drive-in, where servers come out to your vehicle and take your order.

“I think it’s wonderful that they have endured all of these years in business and are still going strong,” Sexton added.

With unique items such as a pizza burger, hand-dipped corn dogs and that “real” frozen custard on a cone, the Frostee Freeze will most likely remain a iconic destination for many years to come.