Since 1935, Friendly's Restaurants have been a staple throughout the Berkshires and neighboring new England states as this dining establishment offers reasonably priced fare for breakfast, lunch and dinner and let's not forget the delectable desserts afterwards (It's mandatory to make some room for a tasty treat which satisfies your appetite in more ways than one)

The company's headquarters are based right here in the Bay State (Wilbraham, Massachusetts) but in the past years, lots of convenient locations in our back yard have permanently closed their doors including my favorite stop on Housatonic Street in "Lovely Lee" and many moons ago, there used to be a Friendly's on Stockbridge Road in Great Barrington. The North Adams location on State Road also shut down in 2014 after 50 years of service to north country residents. North of our border, the Bennington, Vermont location recently closed it's doors. As of now, all Berkshire residents have only ONE option to sample the fare and it is centrally located on Dalton Avenue in Pittsfield.

attachment-Friendly's Ice Cream
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That means, I have to travel about 25 miles to get my fix of their awesome food and of course my mandatory strawberry Fribble shake is the "icing on the cake" (pardon the pun). The good news is my itinerary takes me to Pittsfield and this is a must-stop when stopping by the area. I am positive other Berkshire residents have the same idea in mind because this establishment is truly reasonable in price as the menu options tend to satisfy everyone who sits in a booth and allows patrons to dine in style.  Oh, have I mentioned those awesome desserts are the highlight of your dining experience. Worth repeating!

I was in awe when watching 22 News one night as anchor Nick Aresco broke the bad news to us regarding the Lee location. It is probably the most gut-wrenching 30 second story that was presented over the western Massachusetts airwaves. Here is a look back as this clip is courtesy of WWLP in Springfield:

(WWLP-22News)

Ironically, Wilbraham, the company's home base does NOT have a Friendly's in their vicinity. You have to go west a few feet away on route 20 in Springfield and another location is based in neighboring West Springfield. If you live in Westfield, Agawam, Palmer or Chicopee, cherish the fact you STILL have one of these iconic restaurants in your community. Anyone care to swap one of these Friendly's locations and bring their fine fare for a second location here in the beautiful Berkshires? I'm open for that idea and others will surely agree with me on this one!

(Friendly's logo and photo courtesy of their Facebook page)

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