Immediately prior to the Friendly’s restaurant chain emerging from chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, January 9, its corporate entity closed two more restaurants in Vermont. The Colchester (near Costco) and South Burlington (near University Mall) locations were closed without notice Sunday.
A story in the Quincy (MA) Patriot Ledger said the Wilbraham, MA, based chain closed the restaurants after not being able to renegotiate rents. Friendly’s filed for chapter 11 in October and closed 63 restaurants systemwide at that time. The action Sunday closed another 37, according to patriotledger.com.
The friendlys.com Web site lists six existing restaurants in Vermont: Bennington, Brattleboro, Manchester, Rutland, Springfield and Williston. A Shelburne Road in South Burlington location was previously closed.
There are currently 376 Friendly’s restaurants. Friendly’s Ice Cream LLC is itself owned by Sun Capital Partners Inc in Florida, which owns several brands, including American Standard, Boston Market and Hickory Farms. The first Friendly's Ice Cream Shop was opened in 1935 in Springfield, MA, by brothers Prestley and Curtis Blake.
The closed Friendly's location at 1 Dorset Street in South Burlington. Photo by Shelby Webster