Yet another NJ location shuttered — A sad goodbye to Friendly’s
As Dino Flammia wrote in his article on New Jersey 101.5 back in November, the classic ice cream restaurant chain Friendly's has permanently closed its Toms River location along Route 37.
This news was so sad. I consider the slow demise of Friendly’s to be the end of a wonderful era.
If you were born at any time before the early 2000s, then you absolutely have spent an afternoon or night digging into a delicious Friendly’s ice cream sundae.
Friendly’s was always a go-to when it came to getting a quick and casual dessert. But is it just me or does the idea of heading out to sit in a booth and dig into a sundae seem foreign?
This sad reality seems to have come into full effect, too, as Friendly’s locations are rapidly closing across the country, specifically in New Jersey.
Toms River, which used to be home to four Friendly’s locations, now has one remaining.
For many, this wouldn’t be a big deal but in Toms River specifically, Friendly’s made quite the impact.
For example, the Main Street location had “Shut Up and Eat” days where everyone would show up in pajamas and have a casual and comfortable breakfast.
Many of these Friendly’s locations are simply being turned into other fast food joints and shops making the closing even more depressing.
We had a Friendly’s location in the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown. It was my family’s place.
Every birthday, until, of course, they got too cool to go there, my kids and I would celebrate with ice cream in their favorite booth at their favorite spot.
I’m not gonna lie, my husband and I would never tell them but it did smell a little greasy. And it kind of felt that way too.
And it wasn’t exactly the height of haute cuisine. The only thing I ever dared eat there was a grilled cheese sandwich with tomato.
But it didn’t matter.
Friendly’s was about ice cream, fun and family, and we have the most wonderful memories from the place.
The tough reality of this all, however, is Friendly’s has been publicly bankrupt for 2 years and as we know, all good things must come to an end.
If this made you crave Friendly’s as much as it made me crave it, however, you can still go get that fribble you’ve been dreaming of in several areas.
I would go sooner than later, unless you want the next time you eat friendly’s to be from the supermarket tub.
Unfortunately, maybe sooner than you think, that will be all we have to remember Friendly’s by.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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