Update 11/19/2009: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Returns to Portland
In the 70s and early 80s in Portland, if you were a parent with a sensitive child who didn’t like to be the center of attention, Farrell’s was the place to bring him on his birthday to thoroughly embarrass and humiliate him.
Bright lights, banging drums, sickening quantities of ice cream, and teenagers disguised as members of a barbershop quartet: a recurring nightmare and also my childhood memory of Farrell’s.
The first Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour opened in Portland in 1963, followed quickly by numerous franchises (58 by 1970). The heyday of the chain lasted through the 70s and into the early 80s. (You can read the whole story here.)
The locations I recall having reluctantly visited, thankfully in some cases for other poor kids’ birthdays, were the Farrell’s at Raleigh Hills, Lloyd Center, and Washington Square Mall.
You can read the first installment of a 30-something Portlander’s flashback here.