Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

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Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour and Restaurant
Type Private by Parlour Enterprises in the U.S., by E Noa in Hawaii
Industry Restaurants
Founded Portland, Oregon, U.S. (1963 (1963))
Founder(s) Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy
Headquarters California and Hawaii
Number of locations 8 (7 in CA, 1 in HI)
Key people Paul Kramer, Mike Fleming
Website www.farrellsusa.com www.farrellshawaii.com

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour is an American ice cream parlor chain founded in Portland, Oregon in 1963.


Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour was started in Portland, Oregon, by Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy in 1963.[1] Farrell's became known for their offer of a free ice cream sundae to children on their birthday. The parlors had an 1890s theme, with employees wearing period dress and straw boater hats, and each location featured a player piano. The Farrell's "Zoo" dessert is delivered with great fanfare by multiple employees carrying it wildly around the restaurant on a stretcher accompanied by the sound of ambulance sirens.[2]

In 1972, the Farrell's chain was purchased by the Marriott Corporation.[3] By 1975, there were 120 Farrell's nationwide.

Thereafter, sales dropped and most of the parlors were sold off in the 1980s. In 1982, Marriott sold the chain to a group of private investors.[3]

In 1983, the Selective Service purchased Farrell's "Birthday Club" data and mailed warnings to young men to register for the draft before their 18th birthday. Farrell's blamed the situation on an unauthorized sale by a list broker, and the government announced they would stop using the list.[4] One of the last original Farrell's locations in Portland, located near the Lloyd Center mall, closed in 2001. At the time of its closing, it was privately owned and known as The Original Portland Ice Cream Parlor.[3]

Today, the only Farrell's in the mainland U.S. are in the Mountasia Family Fun Center in Santa Clarita, California, The Shops at Mission Viejo in Mission Viejo, California, Rancho Cucamonga, California, in downtown Brea, California, in Riverside, California (which opened in January 2013), in Sacramento, California (which opened in August 2013), and in Buena Park (which opened on 24 February 2014). There has also been discussion of an eventual return to Portland, Oregon.[5] The only Farrell's still operating in Hawaii is located in Pearlridge shopping center in Aiea, Hawaii.

Sacramento location tragedy[edit]

On September 24, 1972, a privately owned Canadair Sabre jet (a variant of the F-86 Sabre) piloted by Richard Bingham failed to take off while leaving the Golden West Sport Aviation Air Show at Sacramento, California's Executive Airport. It went off the end of the runway and crashed into the ice cream parlour. 22 people were killed and 28 injured.[6]

Nearly ten years after the Sacramento tragedy, on April 9, 1982, a small private plane crashed in the parking lot of the Farrell's location in Torrance, California, and burst into flames. The pilot and his two passengers were killed but there were no injuries or fatalities to the people on the ground.[7]


  1. ^ Giegerich, Andy (December 17, 2004). "Portland's dollar drain". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  2. ^ "Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, the Zoo Returns". Orange County (California) Register, November 3, 2009.
  3. ^ a b c Goldfield, Robert (November 21, 2001). "Original Farrell's ice cream parlor gives way to condo project". The Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-06. 
  4. ^ "Selective Service to Stop Use of Birthday List". The New York Times. 4 August 1984. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
  5. ^ "Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Returning To Portland". KPTV Fox News 12. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
  6. ^ "The Crash at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in Sacramento, CA - September 24, 1972". Check Six. 2002. Retrieved June 25, 2008. 
  7. ^ "The Age of Aries In Torrance, California April 9, 1982". Check-Six. 2002. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 

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