Another well loved brand in New Jersey falls victim to the coronavirus. The Friendly’s restaurant chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, another victim of COVID-19. Friendly’s has 20 locations in New Jersey and is mainly located on the East Coast. In a statement, the company said, “Unfortunately, like many restaurant businesses, our progress was suddenly interrupted by the catastrophic impact of Covid-19, which caused a decline in revenue as dine-in operations ceased for months and re-opened with limited capacity."

However, the chain said nearly all of its 130 restaurants will remain open, preserving thousands of jobs. In addition to the bankruptcy filing, Friendly’s also announced that it will be selling its assets to a hedge fund that owns other restaurant chains, Amici Partners. According to the press release, “Friendly’s has sufficient cash on-hand to continue operations, meet its obligations to employees, franchisees and vendors, and ensure a seamless transition. Upon the sale closing, Amici expects to retain substantially all employees at Friendly’s corporate-owned restaurant locations.

While Friendly’s has always offered a full menu, the 85 year old chain is probably best known for its Fribble milkshakes, sundaes, and other ice cream creations; the company says that it “founded on ice cream and built around families.” The pandemic has been brutal to the restaurant industry, especially for the ones that rely mainly on a dine-in experience with such well known names as Chuck E. Cheese’s, California Pizza Kitchen, Ruby Tuesday’s, and Sizzler all filing for bankruptcy protection. The company expects the process to go before the Bankruptcy Court in mid-December to approve the sale and bankruptcy filing.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.