GREENFIELD — Though it might operate under a different name, the Frosty Mug, Greenfield’s long-standing drive-in, will not fade into history.
“It’s a local landmark, and we’re just excited to preserve that,” said Chris Baggott, owner of Tyner Pond Farm in Greenfield, which purchased the Frosty Mug site Tuesday.
Baggott was among more than two dozen bidders Tuesday who packed inside the small restaurant that made car hops and curb service part of the city’s summer landscape for decades. Up for sale was the property at 117 N. Apple St., an adjoining single-family residence and everything else on the property, including the kitchen sink.
The sale was scheduled after PNC Bank filed a foreclosure action in Hancock Circuit Court in March 2010 and obtained a final judgment of foreclosure in September of that year.
The notice of sheriff’s sale dated Nov. 26 reflected a total judgment amount of $213,408 to be satisfied by the sale.
In a noteworthy procedural development, the court granted the bank’s request to have the sale conducted by a special auctioneer in order to increase the prospects for a satisfactory recovery.
Ted Pike, senior vice president of Key Auctioneers of Indianapolis made an initial call for $100,000; bidding, however, opened at $20,000 and proceeded relatively quickly to Tyner Pond’s $70,000 final offer. The new owner hopes to keep the establishment very much as it is today – apart from gutting and re-equipping the interior and adding additional outside seating.
Baggott said the drive-in will be used to sell pasture-fed beef and pork in the form of hamburgers, pulled pork and sausage sandwiches along with homemade ice cream, all directly from the farm.
“It’s a logical extension for the farm,” said Baggott, “and it closes the local farm-to-table food loop.”
Baggott has been a champion of expanding markets for locally grown farm products.
Tyner Pond has been scaling up production with land acquisitions and the addition of an on-site processing plant that has allowed it to become very competitive on costs, and that will allow it to offer its fare at a drive-in price point, Baggott said.
As important as offering food, Baggott said the new operation will continue to provide county residents a place to gather as it once did.
“We want to the extent possible to keep it all close to what it is today,” he said.
“We’re very excited. We think it’s a great fit and good for the community,” he said.
Seth Seaton, Key Auctioneers director of real estate, said he was pleased with Tuesday’s turnout despite the cold weather, which apparently did not diminish the numbers of those prepared to bid or the amount they were prepared to spend.
“We’re ecstatic,” Seaton said. “We had a lot of calls (Monday) to find out if the auction was still going on.
Moreover, Seaton said the sale price was equally gratifying.
“I thought the real estate did really well,” he said. “We are pretty happy.”
Once the gavel hit for the final time, the auctioneers said the sale garnered about what they expected despite the adverse conditions.
“Good weather would have brought a few more Lookie-Lou’s, but that’s about it.” Seaton said.