A long familiar iconic restaurant in New Jersey, Friendly's, filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy on October 4. Citing the economy, and increasing competition from other casual dining and ice cream chains, it states that it expects to emerge from the bankruptcy reorganization "stronger and more competitive." Fortunately for us, only one store is closing, one in Trenton, although 62 others are going in other states. 424 restaurants will remain open, however, including 31 in New Jersey.
According to a story posted yesterday on NewJersey.com,
The chain goes back to its first restaurant, opened during the Depression, in 1935, in Springfield, Massachusetts, and grew to a national chain. For many here in South Jersey, going out for ice cream meant going to Friendly's, whether it was just for dessert or a Happy Endings sundae following a Supermelt or a Fishamajig sandwich.
Hopefully, this great chain will continue on after the bankruptcy. Other places like Ben & Jerry's and Coldstone Creamery are nice (and oftentimes more expensive), but they cannot replace our childhood memories of ice cream at Friendly's.