Closed For Business

Local Friendly’s Restaurant Among 23 To Shut Doors

P-J photo by William Mohan
P-J photo by John Whittaker

Friendly’s Restaurant in Brooklyn Square, Jamestown, has closed along with several other Friendly’s locations in New York state.

A sign taped to the door states, “We apologize for disappointing you on this visit, but this location is now closed for business. We regret that we do not have another Friendly’s restaurant near you, but we hope that you will visit one of our other locations when traveling.”

According to WBEN Newsradio 930, a similar sign was posted at the Amherst location on Maple Road. According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, 23 Friendly’s locations in five states closed over the weekend, including stores in Binghamton, Blasdell, Endicott, Greece, Oneonta, Oswego, two in Rochester and one in Syracuse. Restaurants also closed in Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

Friendly’s opened its Jamestown location in 1985 in a location that once housed the Sambo’s, No Place Like Sam’s and Season’s restaurants. At the time, the city Development Department sent out solicitation letters to roughly 100 chain restaurants including Red Lobster, Friday’s and Friendly’s. Friendly’s officials said they were successfully converting many of the restaurant buildings owned by Sambo’s Restaurants International after that company’s bankruptcy and planned to spend about $350,000 and 1,000 hours altering the building. The restaurant, at the time of its opening, was to have between 75 full- and part-time employees.

The property underwent a renovation in 1993 and another facelift in 2015. The 2015 remodel came shortly after a Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceeding that saw Friendly’s close 63 of its 500 restaurants. According to news reports, the chain has further consolidated to about 200 stores in 2018. After this weekend’s restaurant closings, Friendly’s will have 77 corporate-owned restaurants and 97 franchisee-owned restaurants, according to the Syracuse Post-Standard.