After nearly 30 years — and several months of anticipation — Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour is once again back in Riverside!
The relaunched chain held a grand opening this week for its 5th (and largest) restaurant near Riverside’s Castle Park.
Those who grew up in Southern California during the 1970s and 1980s will fondly remember Farrell’s. The festive atmosphere combined with the candy store — plus all that ice cream! — was part Disneyland “Main Street U.S.A.” and part Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.
Originating in Portland, Oregon in 1963, the chain was bought in 1972 by Marriott Corp., which expanded Farrell’s to 120 locations spread across the country by 1975. The chain’s largest cluster was in Southern California, with over 20 locations throughout the Los Angeles and San Diego areas, including Riverside and Montclair.
For those who don’t remember (or are too young), the original Riverside location opened in 1970 at the then-Tyler Mall — where Yard House / AMC Theaters stand today — about a half-mile east from the newly-opened location. Word has it that the original Riverside location was one of the busiest in SoCal back in the day.
In 1982, however, sagging sales led Marriott to sell the chain, beginning a steady decline in quality and business. Riverside (and most within SoCal) closed around 1985, with the rest of the chain mostly gone by 1990. A re-birth was attempted in the mid- to-late 1990s, but it wasn’t until 2009 that the current incarnation (and expansion) began, ushering in a new — yet old-tyme inspired — era for Farrell’s.
According to Farrell’s, the new Riverside location is the largest in the chain thus far, with the bigger building allowing for an expanded candy store (a favorite part — and memory — for many Farrell’s patrons). Located across from Kaiser’s Riverside Medical Center, Farrell’s has taken up residence within a completely refurbished, former Black Angus (which opened around 1982 and closed just a few years back).
For more coverage on the actual grand opening itself, check out our article published on InlandEmpire.com. Also, we’ve included several photos from the opening in the gallery below.
- InlandEmpire.com – Farrell’s Ice Cream returns to Riverside (Jan. 31)
- Riverside Press-Enterprise – Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour dishes up memories (Jan. 31) | Video
- Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour
- Facebook – Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour
- Happyitis.biz (Farrell’s history)
- Castle Amusement Park
- RaincrossSquare.com – Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour returning to Riverside (June 2012) | Then & Now – Galleria at Tyler (Aug. 2007)
Photos courtesy of: *Farrell’s USA, **RPL, ***Happitis.com
Sources: Farrell’s USA, Happyitis.biz, The Press-Enterprise, Riverside Public Library, City of Riverside