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Dining Guide for Families in Orange County

A New Farrell’s has come to Town

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“Old Time Memories for a New Generation”

My family and I were invited to attend a pre-opening at the new Farrell’s in Buena Park, near Knott’s Berry Farm.
We open the doors as if going through a time machine and find ourselves in the midst of the 1890s. We see fellows and gals dressed in pin stripe and cane hats. We’re engulfed with sound: clapping, singing, and even an ambulance siren. Fun is in the air! The kids immediately spot the old-fashioned candy store. Add some spectacular ice cream concoctions and you have Farrell’s Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor!

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I have such fond childhood memories of Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor. It was THE place to celebrate when I was a kid. They were known for giving children a free ice cream sundae on their birthday. But the coup de grace was the enormously popular zoo!! Not only enormously popular, the zoo is just plain enormous! It boasts 4 flavors or ice cream, 3 fruit sorbets, 4 toppings, bananas, whipped cream, and of course plenty of maraschino cherries. It is served in a large silver bowl and is so heavy two servers must carry it. You know the zoo is coming when you hear the ambulance siren. Everyone looks up in anticipation. Two servers carrying a stretcher with the zoo propped right in the middle run wildly around the entire restaurant to serve you your zoo. It is an emergency after all. When you need a zoo, you just need a zoo!

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Originally opened in 1963 by Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy, Farrell’s has gone through some changes in ownership. Not one of the 130 restaurants failed under the guidance of Bob Farrell; however, when Bob left to become a motivational speaker the restaurants seemed to have gone through a change resulting in most of the stores closing in the 1980s. I remember being surprised when there were no more Farrell’s to be found. It was so much fun for me and my friends; it was something I would have liked to have shared with my own children.

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I was so excited when I heard a new Farrell’s was opening. Bob Farrell is again involved and they are back to the old Farrell’s of my childhood. According to their website, “The goal is to stay true to the philosophies upon which the original company was founded. Bob Farrell is providing input every step of the way as Parlor Enterprises takes Farrell’s into the 21st Century!

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My family and I had a great time at the pre-opening of the Buena Park restaurant. It located near a popular amusement park. I particularly like the L-shaped layout which cuts the noise of patron chatter and makes it a very pleasurable experience indeed! My 10-year-old just had to try the pig trough! If you don’t know what that is, it’s six scoops of ice cream, 3 toppings, 3 bananas, whipped cream and cherries. If you can finish it, several of the waiters will be happy to exclaim to the entire restaurant that you have made a pig out of yourself! They even have you make oinking sounds before presenting you with your blue ribbon. What boy could resist? Well, the kid did it….mostly. They let him fudge a little, half of it was melted in the bottom and brother ate the bananas but he is a proud boy all the same. Though I want my kids to be accomplished, this wasn’t quite what I had in mind!!

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Alex getting his pig trough ribbon at a Farrell’s school fundraiser.

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If you haven’t tried Farrell’s, give it a go. It really is fun! The Buena Park Farrell’s is my new favorite location because I like the layout so much. Great for parties, so go, eat, make a pig or yourself. It’s not only allowed, it’s encouraged! Oh, and they serve good food too!

Farrell’s Buena Park is located at 8650 Beach Blvd. in Buena Park.

Terri Garcia has been a Southern California girl since the age of two. She has lived in Los Angeles County and both North and South Orange County. A stay-at-home mom and confessed “pinaholic”, she loves all things creative. She believes in giving back and practicing random acts of kindness. She finds joy in creating thoughtful, creative gifts, traveling, historical fiction and most importantly being mom to two very active boys. Similar to the Little Red Hen, she likes to do things herself; although in the end, she will happily share the homemade bread with family and friends.

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