28 November 2009

Is it true? Is Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Coming Back?

Drum roll please: three servers run to your table wearing old fashion vests, two are caring the Farrell's Zoo atop a wooden tray. The third lags behind bagging the ever famous Farrell's drum. What they put in front of you is nothing less then magic: a trough filled with five flavors of ice cream, three flavors of sherbet, five delicious toppings and whipped cream, cherries, nuts and bananas. Topped with little plastic zoo animals! Please tell me you remember this. Rumor has it that Farrell's, which used to sit on NE Weidler, will be returning . . .

After doing some ice cream research, this is what I found:

"In 1963, Robert "Bob" Farrell opened the first Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour in Portland, Oregon. It immediately became a huge success and by 1970 the company had grown to 58 restaurants. In 1971, Bob Farrell was approached by the Marriott Corporation who subsequently bought the company. He continued to work with Marriott as the company grew to 130 locations nationwide. Under his watchful eyes, Farrell's never experienced a restaurant failure.

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.

In 1996, a new company whose mission was to bring back the heydays of Farrell's past acquired Farrell's Ice Cream Parlours. From this purchase, a few legal tussles from 2003-2008 again stopped Farrell's development.

In 2009, now under the ownership of Orange County, California based, Parlour Enterprises Inc the company began moving ahead with the return of Farrell's. Their ongoing goal is to stay true to the philosophies upon which the original company was founded. Bob Farrell is providing input every step of the way as Parlour Enterprises brings Farrell's into the Twenty First Century.

Parlour Enterprises and Farrell's Pacific are dedicated to continue Farrell's legacy in the restaurant industry. You will once again step back in time over 100 years to see servers dressed in pin-striped vests, old fashioned ties, and cane hats. The restaurants feature the distinctive “old Farrell's” appearance of a century past ice cream parlor. The newspaper type menu, old fashioned candy and delicious food and ice cream will let you experience or re-experience what made Farrell's famous all across the U.S" (farrellsusa.com).

What it sounds like to me is that Farrell's may be making its way back up to its original city: Portland. I put a little message into the new company. If I were you, I would do the same--the more they know Portland wants Farrell's back, the better chances we have of eating troughs filled with goodness.

If you know any information about this email me: mangiapdx@gmail.com


  1. Will they come back to Seattle, WA?

  2. Robert the Wallace02 October, 2014

    Please, inform me, if and when FARRELL'S will be returning to Portland! I have Awesome, and Fantastic memories going to FARRELL'S in Southern Cal. ( late 60's--70's ) with my best friend! Thanks so much: William4Alba@gmail.com--Robert the Wallace