Friendly’s Ice Cream, 1935-2011

They had the Jim Dandy. The Fishamajig. It was one of the first places I spotted a “sandwich melt” on the menu. It was (at least the location nearest me in New Jersey) a greasy-spoon joint, but you didn’t mind. You went there with family and classmates, and fond memories were created. Like the time two uncles took me and my sister there and only one of them paid the bill. For years he’d say, “Remember the time we went to Friendly’s and your Uncle X didn’t offer to pay?” And he’d say it with a smile. But as reported last week, Friendly’s Ice Cream has filed for Chapter 11. You can find my restaurant obituary here.

One thought on “Friendly’s Ice Cream, 1935-2011”

  1. Growing up as a wee lad in the sticks of north central Jersey (which meant we were way cooler than those south Jersey weiners like Last), it was a big family event when Mom decided to drive the 1+ hours to the nearest shopping mall.

    My brother and I loved it, not only for the arcade, not only for the “free arcade” (the set-ups in Bambergers, Gimbels, et. al of Atari and Intellivision), but because of the food. Not only did we eat at Roy Rogers for lunch but we always got to have a sundae at Friendly’s before departing….

    Now this was before the notion of premium ice cream like Ben & Jerry’s or the idea of mixing in all sorts of crap (though we had heard about a magical place called “Thomas Sweets” down in Princeton); plus we were young, were jazzed from playing 8-bit video games all day, and eating ice cream – the Pharaohs of Old Egypt couldn’t have asked for more . In other words the taste was just magical.

    Now fast forward to this Spring when I came back East from twenty years in Arizona to find out that Friendly’s was offering a free ice cream Sat- I drive 10 minutes to closest one to Sterling and one bite in I had to ask why I drove all the way for this crap.

Leave a Reply to Anonymous Mike Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *