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Friendly’s restaurant in Stoneham shuts down

Joel benjamin

Another Friendly’s restaurant has shut its doors in Massachusetts.

The Friendly’s located on Main Street in Stoneham closed for good Sunday, according to a spokesperson for the chain.

“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,” the spokesperson 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.”

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The chain had announced last month that the Stoneham spot’s final day of operation would be Sunday.

A Friendly’s spokesperson said Monday that 36 locations remain open in Massachusetts. The chain’s Falmouth and Saugus locations closed in September.

A number of people took to social media last month to lament the Stoneham closure when it was announced.

“This is terrible!! Sad day,” wrote one Twitter user.

Another tweeter said an “era is coming to an end. I want my Fribble!”

The history of Friendly’s dates all the way back to 1935, when two brothers opened the first location, then called Friendly, in Springfield, the chain says on its website. By 1974, the iconic brand, still dubbed Friendly, had swelled to 500 restaurants concentrated in the mid-Atlantic and northeastern parts of the country, the site says.

Friendly became Friendly’s in 1989, according to the chain.

In April, Friendly’s had 174 restaurants — 77 corporate-owned and 97 franchisee-owned — down from 254 when the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2012, the Associated Press reported at the time.


Globe correspondent Alyssa Lukpat contributed to this report. Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe.

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