It's back. The Pig's Trough. The Zoo. The Hot Fudge Volcano.
Before there was Chuck E. Cheese, there was Farrell's.
The iconic ice cream chain is making a SoCal comeback. The company announced plans for a 7,300-square-foot restaurant and ice cream shop in Mission Viejo. Though there's one in Santa Clarita, the new store will be the first of the company's planned "original concept" store.
And that means a return to every kid's fantasy party place: Farrell's was loud, it was bright, it was wall-to-wall ice cream. There was a player piano, employees in old-school pinstriped vests and cane hats. There was ice cream served on a stretcher. And there was the big bass drum pounded -- loud -- every time there was a major announcement.
But there will be updates as well: look for "sugar free" and "no sugar added" ice cream and toppings. And even -- gasp -- frozen yogurt.
"The dream actually began 10 years ago when I found an old Farrell's video game token," said Michael Fleming, CEO and Chairman of Parlour Enterprises and Farrell's International. "I used to go to Farrell's every Friday night after work during my high school and college years -- as I know many others did -- and it occurred to me that other folks these days might be yearning for a nostalgic place to gather and celebrate the old-fashioned way."
Farrell's was part of the SoCal pop culture thru the early '90s. At its peak, the chain had 130 stores nationwide, from Santa Ana to Staten Island. After some legal tussles, the company was ultimately shut down.
Now, look for Farrell's in Mission Viejo opening in the fall.