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Long Island Friendly’s could be first to serve beer, wine

Friendly's locations in Commack, seen here on Dec.

Friendly's locations in Commack, seen here on Dec. 23, 20515, and Massapequa Park, will serve beer and wine, pending approval of their state liquor license. Credit: Johnny Milano

Fancy a merlot with your Fribble? You may get your wish soon at two Long Island Friendly’s restaurants.

J&B Restaurant Partners of Long Island LLC, which operates 19 Friendly’s on Long Island, has applied to the New York State Liquor Authority for licenses to serve beer and wine at its Massapequa Park and Commack locations. If the licenses are granted, these would be the only two Friendly’s to sell alcoholic beverages, according to Maura Tobias, a spokeswoman at Friendly’s corporate headquarters in Wilbraham, Massachusetts.

Joe Vitrano, a partner at J&B, said that the casual family restaurants would not display any “exterior marketing,” and that employees would be trained in beer and wine service. He hopes to start serving in April.

J&B, the exclusive Friendly’s franchisee in Nassau and Suffolk counties, has emerged from bankruptcy, having closed nearly a dozen local Friendly’s last year. In addition to introducing beer and wine, J&B has been remodeling its restaurants, a process it hopes will be complete by 2017.

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly identified the bankruptcy status of J&B.

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