Now I really know times are changing. When I first heard that the Friendly’s restaurant that I’d been going to for about 38 years was closing, I was in shock. When I heard that a Moe’s Southwest Grill was coming in its place I wondered how that was going to work in that particular spot and in that building.

Missing FriendlysWell, I guess that one’s been answered. Do you see a building in this picture? No? That’s because it’s been razed and the area is being cleared so that another building can be put up in its place; oh the agony!

From what I understand that Friendly’s building had been there more than 50 years and was once the most popular restaurant in the area. It had always been a place where kids could go after they got out of school to hang out, and where families could go for a relatively inexpensive family meal on a Friday or Saturday night and then get an actual sundae, with multiple choices no less.

I moved here from northern Maine and I’d never heard of such a place, but I and my friends adopted it immediately as one of our main hangouts. We had nothing but good times in that place, and I had some samplings of desserts that, unfortunately, I can’t eat as often now because I can’t eat as much in one sitting anymore.

What will I miss most? Let’s start with the food. Every once in awhile I wanted a really big, juicy burger; they had that. I loved their fish & chips meal, cod, and I even ate the cole slaw sometimes, though I often switched to corn. My norm had become the 3-scoop sundae with double chocolate, double peanut butter, and some marshmallow sauce. I’d become a great fan of one of their newer offerings over the last couple of years, the peanut butter lava cake with 3 scoops of ice cream and both chocolate and peanut butter sauces layered over it, and I always asked for more peanut butter sauce and no chocolate chips; yeah, that’s one I had to stop eating but loved it.

friendlys liverpoolMy favorite forever was the 5-scoop Reese’s peanut butter cup sundae with 3 scoops of peppermint stick ice cream and two scoops of cookies ‘n cream, and of course extra peanut butter; back in the day it was the only place in town that had liquid peanut butter sauce. I remember how one day one of my friends actually ate 3 of those in one sitting and would have had a 4th if he’d had the money; nope, I couldn’t ever do that.

Last weekend I went to the Friendly’s up on Route 31 for the first time, in the location where Hooters used to be. It was nice, okay, and part of it reminded me of an old ice cream parlor from the 60’s. But it lacked charm; at least to me. I know, nostalgia kills reality sometimes, and maybe it’ll turn out to be as wonderful a place overall as the one on Route 57 was. If I have to be happy for anything, it’s that there will be something going into that spot, so there won’t be another empty, vacant building along that route in the city.

Moe’s, you’re going to have a lot to live up to; good luck… I guess…

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