Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

Do you remember Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour?

Remembering the Legendary Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour: A Delicious Journey Through History


Step back in time and indulge in the nostalgia of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, a beloved restaurant that held a special place in the hearts of many. In this blog post, we’ll take you on a delightful journey through the history of Farrell’s, from its humble beginnings to its lasting impact on the culinary landscape.

  1. The Birth of Farrell’s: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour was founded in 1963 by Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy in Portland, Oregon. The restaurant’s concept was simple yet captivating: to create an old-fashioned ice cream parlor experience filled with joy, laughter, and delicious treats.

  2. The Signature Fare: What set Farrell’s apart was its extravagant ice cream sundaes, shakes, and other delectable desserts. The menu boasted a wide array of indulgent treats, including the famous Farrell’s Zoo, a gigantic sundae served in a large wooden trough and delivered with great fanfare by the restaurant’s energetic staff.

  3. The Unique Atmosphere: Visiting Farrell’s was more than just enjoying sweet treats; it was an immersive experience. The restaurant was adorned with vintage decor, old-fashioned candy displays, and waitstaff dressed in classic 1900s uniforms, complete with straw boater hats.

  4. Expansion and National Recognition: Farrell’s quickly gained popularity and expanded beyond its initial location. By the early 1970s, the restaurant had locations across the United States, captivating patrons with its lively atmosphere and delicious desserts. It received national recognition and even made appearances in popular TV shows and movies, further solidifying its place in pop culture.

  5. Decline and Revival: In the late 1970s, Farrell’s faced financial challenges and eventually began closing several locations. However, the restaurant experienced a revival in the 2000s, with new owners aiming to revive the iconic brand and bring back the cherished memories associated with Farrell’s.

  6. Cherished Memories: Ask anyone who visited Farrell’s during its heyday, and they’ll likely share heartwarming stories of birthday parties, family gatherings, and laughter-filled celebrations. The restaurant holds a special place in the memories of many who grew up with the delightful experience it offered.

  7. Legacy and Influence: While many original Farrell’s locations have closed, its legacy lives on. The influence of Farrell’s can still be felt in the concept of themed restaurants, nostalgic ice cream parlors, and the enduring love for extravagant desserts.

The Rise & Fall of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour was Founded

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour was started at NW 21st Avenue 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 End of Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

The Buena Park location closed on December 30, 2018 leaving Brea as the last remaining location. The Brea location closed on June 8, 2019, leaving no remaining locations.

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour holds a treasured place in the hearts of those who experienced its whimsical charm and indulgent delights. From its humble beginnings to its nationwide recognition, Farrell’s left an indelible mark on the culinary landscape. Though its original locations may be few, the memories created within those vibrant walls continue to live on. So, let’s raise a scoop of ice cream to Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour and cherish the sweet memories it gifted us all.

Click through the gallery above for some of the most popular forgotten retail spots that are now gone, but never forgotten. Did we miss one of your favorites? Share your memories in the comments.

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