After suddenly last October when the Friendly's Ice Cream Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, the Needham has sat empty, leaving many to wonder what will take its place.
The restaurant had been a Needham staple for more than 25 years, serving up sundaes, ice cream cones and other fare to families as well as employees of local businesses such as , located directly across from Frendly's on Chestnut Street.
For this week's "You Ask ... Patch Answers," I sought some news on the restaurant building, asking, "Is anything in the works for the old Friendly's building at 173 Chestnut St.?" To find the answer, I reached out to Needham Economic Development Director Devra Bailin, who provided the following update:
I have checked with the Planning Department and neither they nor I have heard anything. I spoke to the owner about allowed uses back when Friendly’s shuttered its doors [in October 2011]. At some point, there was both a 'for lease' and 'for sale' sign on the property, which may still be there. Although unsubstantiated rumors abound, there really isn’t anything to report.
So there you have it: Nothing is coming to that location—yet.
Needham will, however, be getting , Swizzles, which is set to open at 1450 Highland Ave. by June 1.
In the mean time, what do you think should go in the Friendly's location? Share your ideas in the comments below.
is a new weekly feature on Needham Patch in which I find answers to all your town-related questions. Curious about something going on (or not going on) in Needham? New to town and always wondered about a certain building, or need to know where to go for a certain errand? Send all your questions—big, small or in-between—to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 781-217-4233.