Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Returns to Portland

Farrell'sAnother generation of parents can soon terrify its children at Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour.

According to KPTV, Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour is returning to Portland.

There’s no timeline yet, other than “as soon as possible.”

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.) A new Farrell’s recently opened in Mission Viejo, California.

Alas, as I’ve written before, I don’t have particularly fond memories of Farrell’s:

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.

Read the rest: Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour – a 30-something Portlander’s flashback (#2)


  1. That’s AWESOME!!! We’re going to celebrate our kids’ birthdays at Farrell’s next time we’re up there, no matter what time of year it is. Can’t wait!

  2. My problem was simply that we couldn’t afford Farrell’s. So other kids would talk about doing their birthdays there…but we never could.

  3. As a 50-year-old, I have wonderful memories of Farrell’s, always a special event in my life! The “Portland Zoo” which consisted of about 50 (or was it 1,000?) scoops of ice cream covered with tiny plastic animals, the speech you could memorize to win a banana split (“Farrell’s features fabulous fun for the whole family” etc etc). And the huge jawbreakers and other massive sugar treats they sold on the way out. Wouldn’t mind taking my kids there now!

  4. Others have said they were too pricey, but my single mom took me there all the time..think I can remember the friend’s mom complaining about price, but she was always c’ing about bad restaurant food, and ‘we’ll never go there again’..
    How about back to Seattle? I wonder if any of you had Jafko or the Pay-n-Pak, Pay-n-Save, SportsWest, Sambo’s pancake house, chains down there…got my first Casio digital watch at the former.

    ”Farrell’s features fabulous fun for the whole family”

    wow, good memory!

  5. Wow… nice trip down memory lane there JD… I haven’t thought about Pay-n-Pak or Sambo’s Pancake House in years. Jafco though, who could forget them?

    Personally I’m pretty excited to visit a Farrell’s again – now that I have my own money and don’t have to rely on my parents to take me there I’m sort of curious as to how much I’ll actually like it. I know where I’m having my birthday next year.

  6. hooray ”’ my fondest memories are taking my children to Farrell’s for there birthdays ” my boyfriend and i are both turning fifty in a few months and we are hoping to celebrate this big birthday at Farrell’s with a zoo ;;

  7. I absolutely loved this place! My husband and I were teenagers when we use to go there. When you first went in the door, to your right they had so many fun things. He got me a little stuffed animal with every visit. I have them to this day! He first introduced me to having soda with ice cream. I thought that was most bizare, but hey what do I know. I would love to see it open again, and take my adult children there and let them re-live our good times.

  8. I worked there from 1971 to 1975. remember it well. Last saw Bob Farrell in San Jose and took him to the airport after a speaking Gig.

  9. My best friend and I went there all the time as teenagers like a soda fountain, loved it! Have five grandkids and I knowthey would love it too!
    Bring it back!

  10. ReganDouglasEhr says:

    Throughout the 1960’s Farrell’s served high quality food at reasonable prices and served ice cream made exclusively for Farrell’s. As outside interests infiltrated in the 70’s, food quality went down and prices went up. That signaled the beginning of the end of the original Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour.

  11. Our Sunday School class used to end up at Farrell’s on a pretty regular basis. Are there still plans to revive the restaurant in Portland?

  12. @Niki I haven’t seen any news lately!

  13. Yay!!! We just moved to the Portland area a few months ago… and recently when to visit family in California. My mom took me and my lil family to Farrell’s in Brea, Ca. Let me tell you it was so Good… My daughter loved it. so fun and entertaining. love the fun balloon makers :) and the food and ice cream is so delish!!! I hope it comes soon so we can continue to take my daughter to make a lot more fun memories.

  14. I remember a huge silver bowl of ice-cream. The screeching eye-popping monkey that clanged his hand together. (scary)
    My Dad at a “pig trough” and won the great prize of a button pin which said ” I made a pig of myself at Farrell’s” That was fun. I remember being excited about going, but once we were there it was overwhelmingly noisy! No nightmares though.

  15. When are they going to find a place and open in Portland again? We’ve waited 3 years now since they told us it was coming back. I would love to take my kiddos there while there young and enjoy the experiences that I did as a kid. I’d sit there in awwwww enjoying all the craziness!!!

  16. Dan Woods says:

    Can we get an update on the Farrell’s returning to Portland ? Always said if I had the money and time. Whoever does is going to be rich because the demand for their return is massive.

  17. Bring the Parrells icecream parlor back to Portland,ore Are church youth group used to go there in the 60’s,was fun

  18. Orville says:

    Would love to see Farrell’s back in Portland. My girlfriend and I want to take our grandkids there so they can experience the fun and crazy atmosphere.

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