Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour
|Type||Private by Parlour Enterprises in the U.S., by E Noa in Hawaii|
|Founded||Portland, Oregon, U.S. (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|
Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour was started in Portland, Oregon, by Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy in 1963. Farrell's became known for their offer of a free ice cream sundae to children on their birthday. The parlors have an 1890s theme, with employees wearing period dress and straw boater hats, and each location features a player piano.
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. By 1990 almost all Farrell's locations had closed.
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. The final original location closed in 2006 in Eugene, Oregon. At the time, it was operating under the name of Pearl Street Ice Cream Parlour.
In 2008, after a years-long legal battle over rights to the brand, Parlour Enterprises of Lake Forest, California was confirmed as the owner and operator of Farrell's properties on the U.S. mainland. The company established a franchise model with original founder Bob Farrell as an advisor. They promptly opened seven Farrell's locations in California, including the Mountasia Family Fun Center in Santa Clarita; The Shops at Mission Viejo in Mission Viejo; Rancho Cucamonga; downtown Brea; Riverside (opened January 2013); Sacramento (opened August 2013); and Buena Park (opened February 2014). There has also been discussion of an eventual return to Portland, Oregon.
The menu is printed as a a tabloid-style newspaper. It features appetizers, sandwiches, burgers, and dozens of different sundaes, as well as malts, shakes, sodas, and floats. Unusual offerings include a glass of soda water for 2 cents, and the traditional free sundae for customers celebrating a birthday. Some of the sundaes are huge and intended for a group to share. The largest, the "Zoo" sundae, is delivered with great fanfare by multiple employees carrying it wildly around the restaurant on a stretcher accompanied by the sound of ambulance sirens.
Sacramento location tragedy
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.
In the news
On April 9, 1982, a small private plane crashed in road in front 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.
In 1983, the Selective Service purchased Farrell's "Birthday Club" data and mailed warnings to young men telling them 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.
In April 2014 an out-of-control automobile ran into a line of patrons waiting outside the Buena Park location of Farrell's. One person was killed and six others were injured.
- Giegerich, Andy (December 17, 2004). "Portland's dollar drain". Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- Goldfield, Robert (November 21, 2001). "Original Farrell's ice cream parlor gives way to condo project". The Portland Business Journal. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
- "Farrell's looks to restart growth Owner outlines expansion plans for iconic ice cream chain". Nation's Restaurant News. August 31, 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Franchise information". FarrellsUSA.com. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Returning To Portland". KPTV Fox News 12. 19 November 2009. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- "About". Farrell's Hawaii. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
- "Menu". Farrell's USA. Retrieved 5 June 2014.
- "Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour, the Zoo Returns". Orange County (California) Register, November 3, 2009.
- "The Crash at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor in Sacramento, CA - September 24, 1972". Check Six. 2002. Retrieved June 25, 2008.
- "The Age of Aries In Torrance, California April 9, 1982". Check-Six. 2002. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- "Selective Service to Stop Use of Birthday List". The New York Times. 4 August 1984. Retrieved 26 December 2010.
- Zarembo, Alan (April 26, 2014). "1 dead, 6 hurt when SUV crashes into Buena Park ice cream parlor line". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 5 June 2014.