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West Hartford Friendly's Closing as Chain Faces Bankruptcy

A total of 63 stores will close. Seven of those are in Connecticut, including Manchester, Meriden, Waterbury and West Hartford locations.

Friendly Ice Cream Corporation announced today that it is filing for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy protection. will close 63 underperforming stores, including the one in West Hartford Center – one of seven in Connecticut which will shut its doors.

The remaining 424 Friendly's restaurants will remain open for business during the financial restructuring. There is expected to be no impact to manufacturing and distribution operations, according to a company press release.

Friendly's has secured approximately $70 million in financing, which will allow the company to meet its ongoing obligations during the restructuring and to continue paying employee salaries and benefits. Gift cards will continue to be honored.

The decision to file for bankruptcy was driven largely by the challenges of the current economic downturn and significantly increased costs, particularly in commodities such as cream, according to the release.

The following Connecticut stores will close:        

Boston Post Road, Guilford
Buckland Mall, Manchester
Main Street, Meriden
Storrs Road/University Plaza Storrs
East Main Street, Torrington
Waterbury Shopping Plaza, Waterbury
South Main Street, West Hartford

Patty Swanson October 05, 2011 at 01:04 PM
I'll bet the WH Friendly's was the chain's busiest one! I'm am so bummed. I love their food...especially the Asian ck salad. But am most upset that it won't be there for our kids who like to hang in the center! What will be left in the Center for them that is safe, kid friendly, has food, ice cream, no alcohol and is affordable to them?!
Richard October 05, 2011 at 02:09 PM
I am almost 70 and I can't imagine no friendly's. Kids- grandkids- nephews- all kids- always want to go to friendlys-what a shock! I guess they should have stuck with ice cream. Wow- My heart will feel a void- what can repalce friendlys for the little ones?
Barbara Brenneman October 05, 2011 at 02:35 PM
Glad to see our warm and cozy Friendly's shop in Unionville Center is safe for now! Lets hope it stays that way......
Mr Magoo October 05, 2011 at 02:49 PM
Actually, the one in the Center was a Farm Shop; the Friendly's were at Bishops Corner where Bertucci is (the "Hall Friendly's:) and at Tunxis Corners (part of Stop & SHop now) (the "Conard" Friendlys).
David G. October 05, 2011 at 03:18 PM
West Hartford has a wonderful, family owned, affordable, no-alcohol restaurant with free parking only a mile from the Center. A.C. Petersen Farms at 240 Park Road is a terrific place to take the family for breakfast, lunch, dinner and their fantastic ice cream. They also have an asian chicken salad noted in a previous comment. My family and I had a very enjoyable lunch there after Saturday's Park Road Parade. They even had entertainment!
Matt Dub October 05, 2011 at 03:31 PM
listen as a employee this is whats wrong the people who work at friendly's are not being given time to find a new job these people are going to loose everything this is what should be in the headlines never mind how good the food is/was
gus Olander October 05, 2011 at 03:49 PM
out grew Friendly's years ago. They had an attitude problem you reap what you sow
John E. Hardy October 05, 2011 at 07:20 PM
Actually, Friendly's wanted to submit the Chapter 11 filing a few days ago....but like everything else, it took them a VERY LONG TIME to prepare it...... Time to support a locally-owned business: A.C. Petersen!
Lew Block October 05, 2011 at 11:18 PM
This Friendly's was the worst. We live in WH and head over the mountain to go to the Friendly's on 44 in Avon. Too small so a long wait for a table, too many kids there hanging out being loud and rude, not tipping the servers and sneaking out the back door on a dine-and-dash. It was a no-brainer to close this store.

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