It seems like once something is gone, you have a yearning to get it back in any way, shape or form. Such is the case for the Friendly's restaurant that was located on Main Street in "Lovely Lee". Since I arrived in the area, it was a mandatory stop to enjoy their fine fare of food and let's not forget their AWESOME desserts which were a MUST after lunch or dinner. South county residents and those in our surrounding areas now have to trek up north to Pittsfield (the only active location throughout Berkshire county).

attachment-Friendly's logo

Translation: A 15 minute drive has now doubled to a half hour (pending city traffic, it could take longer) and the former Friendly's in Lee has now been transformed into a Starbuck's Coffee Shop and it's not too far from a Dunkin location and The Big Y convenience store parallel to the I-90 exit and entrance.

Trust me, the options to get a cup of java are plentiful on route 20, but I am craving a strawberry Fribble shake and my sweet tooth is suffering from the withdrawal. There is no doubt, their desserts are a favorite for many, the only problem is they are not accessible within our proximity.


(Photo courtesy of

A similar scenario is also experienced as The North Adams location on Dalton Avenue has shut down in 2014. It's no longer an option for north country diners to head towards South Street in Bennington, Vermont as that restaurant also closed 5 years ago. Allow yourself over a half hour for that ice cream craving. It's a long haul to Pittsfield, for sure!

attachment-Friendly's-Bennington VT

(Photo courtesy of The Bennington Banner)

Friendly's officials confirmed the closures calling the move a "normal part of business as a result of lease situations or too many locations in one trade area." If you ask me, I call it a "major" inconvenience as these three locations in Massachusetts and Vermont were NOT underperforming in any way, shape or form.

If you recall, Great Barrington also had a popular Friendly's location located on Stockbridge Road until the Wilbraham based company chose this spot as one of the first to go in Berkshire county. This is why diners would make the trek up to Lee and everyone settled in to that alternative in south county. Lately, change and sometimes that is NOT a good thing!

BOTTOM LINE: If you crave great food and delicious desserts, head up north to Pittsfield (you have no choice in the matter) but area residents truly miss the convenience as more options should be offered and not taken away. Enough said!

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