Friendly’s in Middle Island served its last sundae, on Sunday.
The chain closed due to “financial restraints,” said owner Joseph Vitrano of J&B Restaurant Partners, the exclusive Friendly’s franchisee in Nassau and Suffolk counties, which also owns all Long Island TGI Friday’s. It was one of 19 remaining Long Island locations since J&B filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy in January 2015. (It later emerged from bankruptcy, in September 2016, after shutting down unprofitable restaurants and reducing its debts.)
Vitrano said it closed because they "couldn’t negotiate a reasonable deal with the lease” and that he was looking to find a place to reopen the restaurant nearby.
All employees of the now-shuttered location have been transferred to other Friendly’s restaurants in the area.
Patrons can still dine at the franchise's other Long Island locations in Mineola (230 Jericho Tpke.), East Islip (50 Montauk Hwy.), East Meadow (1826 Hempstead Tpke.), Syosset (150 Jericho Tpke.), Coram (2220 Rte. 112), Stony Brook (201 Hallock Rd.), Miller Place (275 Rte. 25A), Sayville (210 Montauk Hwy.), Lake Ronkonkoma (553 Hawkins Ave.), Franklin Square (552 Franklin Ave.), Massapequa Park (4812 Sunrise Hwy.), Baldwin (945 Merrick Rd.), Riverhead (949 Old Country Rd.), Levittown (3287 Hempstead Tpke.), Medford (700-80 Rte. 101), Smithtown (220 Mount Pleasant Rd.), Commack (2151 Jericho Tpke.) and Shirley (940 Montauk Hwy.).
Friendly's, which started solely as an ice cream shop, was founded 84 years ago by the Blake Brothers in Springfield, Massachusetts.
Friendly’s was at 848 Middle Country Rd., Middle Island.