By Kimberley Donoghue PBN Web Editor Twitter: @kdonog
WESTERLY – The Friendly’s on Franklin Street in Westerly is one of the 37 locations that were shuttered on Sunday ahead of the Friendly Ice Cream Corp. emerging from bankruptcy protection.
The three other Rhode Island locations – in North Providence, Pawtucket and Cranston – will remain open.
About 20 employees were at the Westerly location. A corporate spokeswoman said, in an emailed statement, that “the company has sought to work with our landlords to restructure lease arrangements at locations where we believed rents did not reflect current market conditions and were significantly impacting the viability of underperforming restaurants.”
“While we were able to successfully restructure lease agreements for a number of locations, unfortunately, we were unable to reach an acceptable agreement for Westerly, Franklin Street. Therefore, we have made the difficult decision to close this Friendly’s effective at the close of business on Sunday,” she said.
Friendly Ice Cream Corp. entered bankruptcy protection in October 2011. It still has 380 restaurants open nationwide.
The Boston Globe reported that the Wilbraham, Mass., chain has closed about 40 percent of its locations in Massachusetts and 20 percent overall since filing for Chapter 11 protection.