Necessity is the mother of invention
As the story goes… Robert "Bob” Farrell wanted to take his date at the time, (and wife to be), Ramona to an old-fashioned ice cream parlour like the ones he use to visit as a child growing up in New York. The problem was there were none to find. So, what is a hard working visionary and marketing genius to do? Open one up himself, of course! So, on Friday, September 13, 1963, Robert "Bob” Farrell opened the first Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour in Portland, Oregon. It immediately became a huge success and, under his leadership, Farrell’s grew to 130 locations nationwide. Millions of kids, teens and adults embraced the Farrell’s concept. The name became synonymous with family fun, parties and celebrations. Just saying the name Farrell’s conjured fantastic memories and stories of ice cream and food consumption so extraordinary that surely it is the stuff from which legends are made. Stories of fun so vast and overfilling it was difficult to imagine it all taking place under one roof, none-the-less, in a single day. Under Mr. Farrell’s watchful eye and through his inspired vision, Farrell’s never experienced a restaurant failure.
Don’t fix what’s not broken
Bob Farrell left the company just prior to its sale in 1985. Under new ownership and management came new visions and a conflicting direction for Farrell’s that did not resonate well with the public who liked their Farrell’s just the way Bob Farrell originally envisioned it. Because of this misstep, under the new direction, almost all Farrell’s locations closed by 1990.
Imitation is the best form of flattery
From the broken and almost extinct dream that once was the beloved Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants came imitators. Some came close… but not quite. What is it they missed? Well, honestly we think it was something you can’t build, buy or copy. We think it’s Bob Farrell, his vision, his spirit, his blessing...
You can’t keep a good man (or woman or ice cream parlour) down
That’s why when Paul Kramer and Mike Fleming, President and CEO, respectively, of Parlour Enterprises, Inc. gained ownership and rights of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants their first move was to make a pilgrimage straight to Bob Farrell, the man himself. By the time the three were saying their goodbyes, Mr. Kramer and Mr. Fleming not only soaked in as much knowledge, direction and vision they could, but they also received his blessing AND Bob agreed to provide on-going input every step of the way as Parlour Enterprises breaths life back into his Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour for a whole new generation.
From that day forward the Farrell’s that millions of kids and adults came to know and love was back! Farrell’s Famous Pig’s Trough, The Zoo, the newspaper menu, the turn of the century Cast Member outfits, skimmer hats, classic flocked wall paper, the songs, the jokes, the custom tiffany lamps... everything was back the way it should be… including that special something.
Although Parlour Enterprise has built the new Farrell’s on the foundation that made Farrell’s famous in the first place, they work tirelessly behind the scenes to keep the concept up-to-date and competitive in the marketplace. Including new and improved made-from-scratch, fresh menu items, remarkable food and ice cream specialties, consistent top-notch operations and entertainment. They also teamed up with an award winning marketing, advertising and PR agency to assist in keeping Farrell’s current on all creative and marketing trends, to develop new and fresh ideas setting Farrell’s apart from any competition, to seek out 3rd party collaboration and partnerships, and to support day-to-day operations.
Since Parlour Enterprises rebirth, Farrell’s has won countless awards including, OC Register Reader’s Choice for Best place to have a birthday, Best Ice Cram Parlour, Best Family Friendly Restaurant, Best Restaurant and Nickelodeon’s Best Ice Cream Shop.
In 2014 Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants is celebrating being 50 years old. With 7 corporate locations and more locations opening soon, the original concept is not JUST back, it’s back and better than ever!! There are millions of Farrell’s fans across this great country waiting (and begging) for Farrell’s to return to a location near them!
We now invite you to watch the video below that's all about Farrell's!