Swick Sells Freddie’s: Entire contents of iconic Sapulpa restaurant auctioned off

Monday, May 1, 2023, was the last chance for anyone wanting a piece of Sapulpa history from the iconic Freddie’s Steakhouse.

Jeff “Swick” Schwickerath was commissioned to sell everything inside the restaurant but the kitchen sinks. But wait, even the kitchen sinks were sold at the auction.

A helper holds up artwork from Freddie’s Steakhouse and BBQ restaurant, as Jeff “Swick” Schwickerath, left, runs the bidding. The contents of the Sapulpa restaurant went for auction on Monday morning, drawing in restaurant owners and local fans from all around the area. (Charles Betzler Photo)

Starting at 11 a.m., Swick’s Auction began selling off the furnishings, literally piece by piece.

Items ranged from swizzle sticks to stoves, and clipboards to crystal glasses.

One would have thought that everyone in the Sapulpa area would want some sort of memorabilia from the establishment. However, the crowd was somewhat thinner than expected and consisted primarily of restaurateurs and nonprofits looking for fixtures, equipment, and utensils.

The Sapulpa Herald interviewed some potential buyers asking them what it was they were looking for at this auction.

Carla Gibson, owner of Gibby’s South in Your Mouth restaurant in Collinsville, “I would like to buy all the dinnerware, silverware and cookware, we are getting ready to open our second location in Claremore.”

Charles McEntire, owner of Philly Homa, with locations throughout Oklahoma, “We are just looking at equipment.”

Amanda Stephens, owner of Chuck It Axe Co., was asked whether she was buying items to use or as memorabilia, she said: “A little bit of both.”

One fellow who refused to give his name said he was hoping to buy pots and pans for his church in Turley.

Mike Williams, who is the chef for a nonprofit called STEM GYM in the Tech Village on South Harvard in Tulsa, “I am looking to buy some restaurant equipment, maybe some nice little artwork, pots, and pans.”

When Rhonda Washington, who operates the STEM Gym, was asked what she was looking for, she said: “everything.”

Bob Crockett: “Anything we can use for an event center. We are opening up an event center in Wewoka. We are looking at stemware, plates, some of the decor back in the back. We came looking for tables and chairs.”

David Fisher, who just happens to be the late Edmond Slyman’s cousin, said he was looking for a particular photograph. “A picture of Will Rogers and Wiley Post before they crashed in Alaska.”

Dennis Lee, who had been a cook at Freddie’s for 43 years, said he had already purchased the table on which they made the tabouli and a big rack out of the BBQ pit room, but was at the auction to see if there was something else he might want.

Earl Greer said he was hoping to buy some prep tables for King’s Cross Presbyterian Church in Sapulpa.

The last person to be interviewed was Larry White, owner of EMCO Pest Control, who had just purchased a box of crystal stemware. He said he was looking for anything that was a good buy.

The Sapulpa Herald reached out to Jeff Schwickerath out at 9 p.m. to see when the auction concluded and find out if the auction was a success.

“We went all the way to 8 p.m. tonight, we are still here loading out, it was a nine-hour sale!”

Despite the somewhat sparse crowd, Swick and the Slyman family were more than satisfied with the final outcome.

“I would just say that we did double what they expected. We had some guys that stayed with us, and a lot of local restaurants like Pablo’s and those guys were here. They were buying for their restaurants, they bought a lot, and they spent a lot of money, and they stayed with us until the end.

“A venue from down in Wewoka was here and they stayed with me until the very end and they spent thousands of dollars.”

Swick was quick to point out that certain items commanded handsome sums of money, such as western paintings that went for $100 apiece. Two photographs, one of Wiley Post and Will Rogers, the other of President Lyndon B. Johnson, brought $625 each. The commercial broiler fetched $8,000.

Swick concluded by saying, “I would say it went way above our expectations, we sold to the walls. The family is thrilled, and the daughter’s right here with me and she is thrilled.”