New look for an iconic New England, family restaurant - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

New look for an iconic New England family restaurant

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After filing for bankruptcy more than a year and a half ago, Friendly's on Boston Road officially unveiled its new look and menu on Monday.

"We're in the process of really reinventing and repositioning the entire Friendly's brand," said John Maguire, president and CEO of Friendly's Ice Cream, LLC.  

If you happen to dine at one of the reinvented Friendly's, you will see this iconic New England restaurant has changed, just like the Friendly's on Boston Road in Springfield. 

"We remodeled the inside and outside of these restaurants... really bringing back to what we call a timeless look. So Friendly's is as relevant as it was in the 1940s and still relevant in the 21st Century," Maguire said.

It's not just the look, but the menu has also changed, with new signature items and improvements to signature classics. This includes reintroducing hard ice cream to the Fribble®, and making burgers with fresh instead of frozen meat.

In October of 2011, Friendly's filed for bankruptcy, which lead to the chain closing 63 of its 500 restaurants from Maine to Florida.

However, new president and CEO John Maguire is confident that the chain will bounce back and become even more competitive among other popular family restaurant chains.

"We still have over 361 restaurWhants across New England, and the Northeast, and Mid-Atlantic. And over time, as we continue to grow sales and make ... the improvement in the experience for the guests, there is no doubt in my mind that we'll grow Friendly's again.

For years, George Kudla from Ludlow has been coming to Friendly's once a week to have breakfast.

He remembered what Friendly's used to be and hopes this new layout will bring in more customers.

"I hope people will start using this place, especially since it's our Friendly's located here, and this is where it started... people should support it...because they have done a great job and the service is outstanding," Kudla said.

In total, 10 Friendly's will be re-done across New England. This figure includes the Boston Road location, which was unveiled Monday.

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