Thursday, October 13, 2011

Traveling Thursdays: Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

My childhood memories include many happy birthdays celebrated at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, both on the east coast and the west coast. How could you not love the old fashioned Gibson Girl decor, the loud drums, whistles, & bells, the retro candy store, and of course...the ice cream? Delicious ice cream that was delivered to your table in gut-busting sizes amidst a very loud fanfare. As I got older, the trips became less frequent, and it also seemed that Farrell's began to disappear...literally. I found out recently that the popular chain was staging a comeback, so I was determined to check it out again. Fountain. Fun. Food. Sounds good to me.

Walking into the Mission Viejo, California location was like stepping back in time. The red velvet walls looked familiar, and the newspaper-printed take-home menus warmed my heart.

Fortunately, we had a birthday party to celebrate in the group, allowing us a good excuse to get The Zoo, which serves 10!

Thanks for staging a comeback, Farrell's; I look forward to my next visit!

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stu29573 said...

I loved Farrell's! I used to get the Hot Tin Roof just about every time I went. I hope they will come back around here (North Texas). I would love to go again!

Major Pepperidge said...

Went to Farrell's a few times when I was around 10 years; I didn't know that they were all over the country!

stu29573 said...

Ok, I did a little research and it seems like they are focusing just on Southern CA right now. As for where they have been, the official website reads in part:

Bob Farrell left the company just prior to its sale from Marriott to a San Francisco investment group in 1985. Bob became an author and motivational speaker. Now under new ownership, the Farrell’s concept was changed from a unique celebration restaurant to a traditional family style restaurant. By 1990 almost all Farrell's locations closed and the trademark reverted to Marriott who stopped development. Due to this quick process, most guests only remember the original concept and their great experiences.

The whole write up is pretty interesting if anyone cares to chech it out!

JG said...

There were several of these in the Calif. Central Valley when I was a kid. All were gone by the early '80's.

I have fond memories of the place, including the Hot Tin Roof sundae and the newspaper menus.

In the late '80's there was a northern California chain called Leatherby's that was almost a complete ripoff, down to the newspaper menus. These lasted about 10-12 years and are now all gone too. My kids loved them.

I had no idea Farrell's was still around.

Dave, thank you for sharing this.


Robin's Egg Bleu said...

So glad to hear that they're coming back! My first visit was for my 16th birthday...and my mother told me that when a girl has her Sweet 16 there, all the waiters line up to give her a kiss! I was petrified, and waited with dread for the event to transpire...which my mother apparently made up for the rest of the family's enjoyment, just to watch me squirm. Other than that, I had a fabulous time and an "Apple Pandowdy", which was my favorite as long as they carried it. LOVED the Candyland line to the register, looking at all the different candies. Great memories!

TokyoMagic! said...

I LOVED Farrell's and have missed them very much. Did they have a candy section? How about a player piano Did they bang the drums and clang the bells like they used to? I remember they used to do that when someone ordered the Zoo and maybe the Pike's Peak too. Then two employees would run it around the restaurant on a stretcher type thing before delivering it to your table. Oh, and do they still have the Pig's Trough? If you ate the whole thing, they used to give you a button that stated, "I Made A Pig Out Of Myself At Farrell's!"

Did I mention that I used to love this place?

Davelandweb said...

Chris - Check, check, check, and check! The player piano was there playing away; the sirens, the candy store (albeit not quite as spectacular as what I remember), the stretcher for the really was a fantastic experience. They still have the pig's trough, too. I remember eating a few of those when I was a kid and having to get up in front of the restaurant to announce what a pig I was! Ah, can view the menu here

Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

Yup, I "I Made A Pig Out Of Myself At Farrell's!" on more than one occasion..

They had the best candy store in the Valley. HUGE jaw breakers the size of softballs!!!!

The Farrell's in my neighborhood became "Barrell's" before it was turned into a Burger King!!!!!

Great post Dave, I think you just jogged a ton of memories for your readers.

TokyoMagic! said...

Thanks for the additional info, Dave! Now I REALLY want to go check it out!