2016-03-18 / Community

A Window on the Past

Fond memories abound when recalling Friendly’s
By Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo
South Portland Historical Society


Even though more than 15 years have passed since it closed, many residents have vivid memories of stopping in at Friendly’s on Main Street for an ice cream or a meal. The building is now home to Embers Stoves and Fireplaces. (Courtesy photos) Even though more than 15 years have passed since it closed, many residents have vivid memories of stopping in at Friendly’s on Main Street for an ice cream or a meal. The building is now home to Embers Stoves and Fireplaces. (Courtesy photos) We take a look this week at the old Friendly’s Ice Cream Restaurant that used to be at 581 Main St. Friendly’s opened about 1971 and served breakfast, lunch and dinner for three decades. In March 2000, Friendly’s Ice Cream Corp announced that it would close 150 of its 604 restaurants; unfortunately, our Friendly’s location in Thornton Heights was targeted.

In response to a post that we made about Friendly’s on Facebook in 2014, many readers chimed in with their memories of Friendly’s on Main Street. Lisa Johnson replied, “We used to pack the place after Memorial Junior High dances. The staff was very patient!” Ron Sargent commented, “Spent my paper route money there on Jim Dandies!” We especially loved John Jaques’ post, “I was standing at the take out window in 1977 and I mouthed ‘I love you’ to my wife Lisa. We have been married for 36 years this July. She was sitting in the car and she said it back. Must have been the hot fudge sundae.”

The building would later be home to Bishop & Company consignment store in the early- to mid-2000s. Embers Stoves and Fireplaces is now operating from the site; the building looks much the same as it did when Friendly’s was in operation.

Kathryn Onos DiPhilippo is executive director of South Portland Historical Society.

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