Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Chains >
Oct 5, 2011 06:58 AM

Friendly's has filed for bankruptcy, 63 stores closing

And here's a list:

I don't deny that Friendly's has gone way downhill (although not as far down as Brigham's went before it closed). But having grown up in Massachusetts in the 70s, I still have very fond memories of patty melts and Fribbles, and we still stop there on road trips with the kids. Sigh.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. They did this a few years ago, as well. Once they took care of what they needed to, a few of the closed locations in Ohio actually came back.

    1. sciencediet, I just read the Wall Street Journals coverage and I too agree that while the food quality (but not the friendly service) has taken a noticeable and steady decline in recent years, I have fond memories of Friendly's here in NJ. The company employed my kids during the summer and stopping by for a vanilla shake, strawberry Fribble or fast cheeseburger on the way home from the beach is a memory etched in my young motherhood mind. My kids are all adults now and they'll be sad to hear the company is in trouble. Nostalgia is getting harder and harder to hold on to.

      1. Oof. Loved to go to Friendly's with my grandmother for one of those strange but tasty burgers on toast and a small sundae after. In my neck of the woods Friendy's appealed to almost every demographic.

        2 Replies
        1. re: givemecarbs

          Well in the Doylestown area we lost the one in the shopping center with the Applebees on 611 but the one on North Main street remains open. The ice cream window remains popular with both families and teens.

          1. re: givemecarbs

            Yes, good memories of the big beef cheeseburger special, on toast, followed by a hand scoop.

          2. Reported the Friendly's Express in CC in Brookline is also closed.

            I had many fond memories as well, until I stopped into one recently. As I would have said in the days when I actually used to enjoy Friendys with my Grandma, it was really skeevotz.

            1. I guess I'm a little older, I remember when the Fribbles were called Awful Afwuls (awful big, awful good).
              Unfortunately after Hershey's sold them AwfulAwful Described Friendlys completey accurately.
              Awful Service and awful food, at HIGH prices. When you couldn't get a burger and a drink for under $10 all hope was lost.

              I feel bad for the employees who'll lose their jobs, but the company doesn't deserve to stay in business with its current model.
              I miss some of the New England Chains it bought out such as Farm Shop.

              6 Replies
              1. re: bagelman01

                Another kid in New England in the 70s here - Awful Awfuls were at Newport Creamery. I loved Friendly's - the weird square burgers on toast that givemecarbs mentioned, and the black raspberry ice cream. And jubilee rolls at Christmas time. (Actually I think the name was Friendly back then - the official apostrophe s came later, but we always called it Friendly's.) The one in the town where I grew up closed years ago

                1. re: cookie monster

                  see my response to loves my chow. Friendlys called their drink an Awful Awful in the 60s and changed to Fribble. You are correct about the name change of the vrestaurants

                2. re: bagelman01

                  bagelman01 - I'm also from your era but the Awful Awful was a Newport Creamery "frappe" ... I was a teen waitress at one in New England back in the day LOL! The Fribble was Friendly's answer to the oversized Awful Awful... and Brigham's came out with the "Big Brig" at the same time....

                  1. re: Lovesmychow

                    This has been discussed on CH in other threads. Friendly's and a chain in New Jersey also used the Awful, Awful name. I nevr have been in a Newport Creamery in my life. I am from Connecticut and Friendly's called thier drink an Awful, Awful and later changed it to Fribble due to legal actions.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      We may be headed off topic here, but did Newport Creamery then buy out the Awful, Awful name from the NJ chain in the 70s? Just curious. I'm from Rhode Island, born in 1964, so I'm going off of my earliest memories.

                      1. re: cookie monster

                        Yes, NC took the rights that were abandoned by the NJ chain that closed. Friendlys had used the name and had to give it up when the rights legally belonged to NC