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Visions For Vacancies: Former Friendly's Site

Patch asks readers what they would like to see go in vacant storefronts and open spaces around Needham.

It's a natural process: Businesses move in, businesses move out. Although town officials and residents typically prefer to see the former happening, vacant storefronts and empty lots are a part of life in a suburban town—start-ups shut down, national chains cut back and falling profits sometimes force a mom-and-pop business to shutter.

With Visions For Vacancies, Needham Patch asks readers what you would like to see move in to various vacant spots around town. 

This week, we turn to the former Friendly's Restaurant building at 173 Chestnut St. The longstanding ice cream shop and family restaurant in October 2011 and has since remained empty. Though there have been rumors around town of various businesses eying this prime location—which is across the street from — no permits or plans have been filed.

So what would you like to see move in here? Another ice cream shop? A different type of restaurant? A drugstore, specialty shop or other business? Share your visions for this now vacant spot in the comments below.

Have a vacancy suggestion? E-mail becca.manning@patch.com. Out and about and see a spot we should feature? Snap a photo with your phone and text the image, with address or general location, to 781-217-4233.

Becca Manning April 24, 2012 at 07:05 PM
From Patricia, via Facebook: I have visions of an upscale wine shop that hosts wine tastings, or a gourmet food store that sells cheese, spices and gourmet goodies. Please not another beauty salon, bank, dry cleaner or fitness center!
Becca Manning April 24, 2012 at 08:04 PM
From @GlobeDougMost: "A great bakery/coffee spot like we left in JP. RT @needhampatch: What would you like to see in the old Friendly's site?"
Becca Manning April 24, 2012 at 08:07 PM
From Chrissy, via Facebook: "Not another pizza place!"
PatsFan April 24, 2012 at 08:24 PM
I would love to see a Starbucks....one with a drive-thru would be even better!
Becca Manning April 24, 2012 at 08:37 PM
From Doug, via e-mail: "Friendly's failed in Needham because it always had poor service and poor food quality, but Needham really could use a top quality diner, and the location is perfect for it. Think Deluxe Town Diner in Watertown or Johnny's in Newton Center. It would be a humungous hit."
Becca Manning April 24, 2012 at 08:38 PM
Mmm, that's an interesting idea... The Needham Heights Starbucks is always crazy busy, and sometimes it's hard to find a seat.
Lollie Davis Weeks April 25, 2012 at 12:14 PM
Ditto Doug' dream of a top-quality diner. Add to the not-want list - another nail salon.
Kay April 25, 2012 at 07:22 PM
Diner! Like Rox that just opened in Newtonville.
Becca Manning April 25, 2012 at 09:52 PM
From Polly, via e-mail: "I would like to see a Five buys or a fun burger restaurant go in where the kids can go and meet their friends, get something to eat."

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