The last Friendly’s restaurant in Rhode Island is no longer in business.
The location on Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence closed Monday, according to company officials.
“As shifting consumer demographics and market dynamics present challenges across the industry, it is incumbent on us to regularly evaluate our restaurant footprint with a focus on long-term viability and strategic resource investment as we work to re-invigorate the beloved Friendly’s brand,” Friendly’s officials said in a statement. “Unfortunately, in some cases, this process results in the difficult decision to close underperforming locations that can no longer be sustained by the local market. Following the August 19th closure of our North Providence, RI location, severance packages and transfers to other Friendly’s locations will be offered to employees.”
The first Friendly’s ice cream shop opened in Springfield in 1935, and the chain eventually grew to about 800 restaurants.
There are 167 Friendly’s locations, 40 of which are operating in Massachusetts, according to company spokeswoman Marie Espinel.
“Sad to report that Friendly’s is no longer in Rhode Island,” one Twitter user wrote. “Your last location closed after years of being so popular here. I hope you open again in this state because you were much loved!”