Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour

I used to love going to Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour as a kid growing up in Huntington Beach. It was all red and white in the Victorian style of Mary Poppins. I believe it was a chain in Orange County.

You could order "The Zoo" which was a big trough of every ice cream and topping they had, accented with sparklers. When you ordered it, all the wait staff would run out with it held high in the air, whistles and horns announcing your intent to eat the whole thing.

If and when you did eat it all, another big production followed and a ribbon that said, "I made a pig of myself at Farrell's." Oh, how I wanted one of those ribbons.

36 comments:

  1. I think the ribbon was associated with "The Trough", not the zoo. I recall my brother ordering a trough so he could get the ribbon.

    My favorite part of Farrell's was the store. The giant jaw breakers were especially enticing, though I also remember wanting a Styrofoam straw hat. I eventually talked my parents into buying one for me. It lasted about 2 days.

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  2. There were Farrell's locations in San Diego County too. I remember going there for birthday parties, and those guys would come out with a birthday cake or ice cream on a stretcher, run around all over the parlour, and make all the siren sounds. Lot's fun for kids.

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  3. OOOOH! And you got to 'sign' the trough! I REALLY wanted to have the opportunity to put my little grafitti name on that!

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  4. You know, now that you say that, it makes more sence it was called "The Trough"---you know seeing as you made a "Pig" of yourself when you ate it.
    I do remember you got to sign it! I remember those jawbreakers too.

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  5. Recently drove out to the last remaining Farrel's on the U.S. mainland.......in Santa Clarita.....it was nothing like I remember when I was a kid.....this location had almost no businees the day we were there....sad!

    There is another location in Hawaii...and they did have plans to bring one to the Block in Orange but, those plans are hung up in court over licensing rights.....

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  6. i REMEMBER fARRELLS! iT WAS OUR FAVORITE PLACE TO GO AS KIDS! bIRTHDAYS, SPECIAL DAYS ANYTIME WAS GREAT FOR FARRELLS! WE USED TO LOVE BUYING SOMETHING FROM THE MINI-CANDY STORE ON THE WAY OUT. WE WENT TO THE ONE ON TUSTIN IN ORANGE AND THAT IS ONE PLACE THAT HOLDS SO MANY GREAT MEMORIES!

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  7. Wow, I remember Ferrells too. Only I used to go to the one in Montclair. The cool kids always had their birthday parties there. I remember how neat it was that lunch was ICE CREAM!

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  8. Farrels was famous for its "Pig Trough"- about a gallon of ice cream, various toppings and such, served to one person. It was brought out by a couple of servers, who mimed stumbling and groaning beneath the weight of so much ice cream. Then, if that person actually managed to eat it all by themselves, the staff would sound an old crank air raid siren, come flying out from the kitchen, and sing and do some sort of routine about what a pig you were, and awarded a big rosette ribbon with 'I Made A Pig of Myself At Farrells" printed on it.

    The siren was also used to call attention to those having a birthday there...as I all too well know! I liked one of their flavours of ice cream in particular, and had asked my folks if we could go there on my birthday, after dinner....big mistake. Dad must have had a quiet word with one of the staff, because they sounded the siren, came running to the table, and sang 'happy birthday' through a bullhorn, while I literally slid under the table in utter humiliation and embarrassment. Nothing could coax me out of there, till they were gone!

    In hindsight, I don't know who was more embarrassed, me, for all the fuss and noise made about me in public, or my mom, for having her 17 year old daughter hiding under a table!

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  9. I think the trough was the one that a single person MIGHT eat, but the zoo was like 30 or so scoops of ice cream

    I remember the one in HB after high school football in the 70s and also going to the one in Mission Valley, San Diego back in the 60s and 70s

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  10. I remenber Ferrels We were celebrating a bitrhday party and a naked ( I believe they called them streakers back then ) man ran through the parlor.What s shock for little kids.

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  11. Dear Lord... I didn't know so many people still remembered the place. I though all the Farrell's closed until friends and I stumbled into one in a San Diego mall! Boy, was I chuffed. I also remember watching Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure and saw Napoleon pig out at an ice cream parlour -- an nudging my brother, 'hey, that's Farrell's!"

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  12. I miss Farrells too though I was rather young when they closed up and we usually went to the one located at the Stonewood mall in Downey.

    I've been thinking of making the pilgrimage to the one in santa Clarita and IIRC one closed in like Rosemead in the last few years, when exactly did the OC locations shut down?

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  13. I loved Farrell's growing up. That was a great place for us teens to go to with friends from church. I saw a sign at The Block awhile ago and was telling my kids about it. I was sorry to hear that there is trouble getting it in there.

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  14. Farrell's was a chain out of Sacramento. Prior to that there was Waldo's across from Cal State College at Fullerton (beeore it was the University).

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  15. Oh, yes I remember Farrell's and my 17th birthday...my father got angry at me and told me to go get into my pajama's and I did, then he called me out to the front room because he wanted to talk to me and while I was standing their talking to him my friends from high school came up from behind me and put a blindfold on me and tyed my hands behind my back. They took me to Farrell's in my pajamas and bathrobe. While we were driving there, I had asked if we could drive by this guys house that I really liked alot and I didn't know that the guy that I was seeing at the time was in the car with us. Boy was I shocked and embarrassed when they took off the blindfold and I saw him standing they’re telling me that he had heard every word that I had said. That was 32 years ago and still have not forgotten it!

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  16. I'm from the Detroit area and I remember that if you ate the entire "Trough" they gave you a button that said "I made a pig of myself at Farrell's".

    The ice cream there was delicious!!!

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  17. Minnesota - our Farrell's had "The Zoo" with all the bells and whistles back in the 70's. I think they moved to the "Trough" later on. It was a GREAT place to have a birthday!!

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  18. We had a Farrell's in suburban Detroit too! The dish everyone is talking about was called "The Pig's Trough." If you ate the whole thing (seven scoops of ice cream and assorted toppings) you got the big production number from the staff and the ribbon that said "I Made a Pig of Myself at Farrell's!" What a great place! PLC

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  19. There was a Farrell's on wilshire and Stanford in Santa Monica as well back in the mid 70's. It wasn't there a long time...

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  20. I remember the Farrells on Beach Blvd. in Huntington Beach very well. I worked there in 1975-76. The Pig's Trough was 2 banana splits. The Zoo would feed 20 - 30 people (depending on who was eating it). It was the only place that I worked that having fun, laughing and clowning around was a requirement of the job. I met and worked with some of the greatest people - in fact, one of the waiters was also MIckey Mouse at Disneyland. My kids were young then and it was a big deal that there mom worked at Farrells. Such fond memories. I heard that they were trying to bring them back again. Then I can take my grandkids.

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  21. We had one in Chula Vista (south San Diego) that my friends and family went to quite often(late 70's). I remember finishing a trough one time but did not keep the ribbon... (pouts). Man, did I have a belly ache!
    Yes, this brings back fond memories!!!
    Thanks for the walk down memory lane.
    Pete Sherwood

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  22. My brother Ben and I grew up in Huntington Bch from 1969 to 1976 and spent many a birthday going to Farrell's w/family and friends.The ribbon you speak of is from a ice cream dish called the'Trough' and was big and shaped like one.Ben actually finished one and got the prized ribbon!!! Ah what memories...Sincerly Chris Peirce

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  23. There's another similar ice cream parlor in Hollywood Fla. called Jaxo's that reminds me a lot of Ferrell's.In fact I asked the owners about it and they we familiar with it...

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  24. on of the farr kidsOctober 24, 2008 3:08 PM

    We used to go the Farrells in Fullerton, near the college I think. We, and another family, would order the zoo! We kids love the bells, lights, workers, coming out making a fun fuss. We used to collect the little plastic animals they would hide in between all the ice cream.
    Years later, as an adult, I found one in Temecula? Told my kids about it, took them there, but wasn't the same. The servers were rude, the excitement was no longer part of it. We ordered the Trough, which came out more like a banana split.

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  25. I worked at the store in Huntington Beach during high school and college(70s). The place would have a line out the door for hours and we were not one of the busiest stores. It was a great place to work. I still have a Gipson Girl glass. I will never forget dumping the zoo on the mans new leather coat. A lot of wonderful memories connected with Farrell's.

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  26. I just wrote an extensive blog entry with photos about Farrells (specifically the Huntington Beach one) here.

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  27. In the early 70's during the summer a bunch of us friends used to drive from Indio to Riverside to the Farrell's just for something fun to do. We bought the styrofoam "straw" hats to use when we did "The Music Man" at our church. I still have some posters and post cards of antique advertising that I got at Farrell's, still in the red paper bag they came in. The bag says Welcome to the Fun, America's No. 1 Ice Cream Parlor, Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour Restaurants, and it shows the old time picture of the guy and girl holding hands across the table.

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  28. Farrels is coming back. It is now going to open early November 2009 at the Mission Viejo Mall.

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  29. We had one in Temecula a few years ago but it didn't make it. Although it was located at the Promenade Mall, it was done very poorly. Seems like they had enough money to get it open, but not enough to furnish it well or train the employees. Terrible service did them in. I remember the one I went to back in the 70's. Now that was a fun restaurant.

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  30. WHEN MY BROTHER RICK CAME BACK FROM VIETNAM HE MADE A PIG OF HIMSELF MORE THAN ONCE AT THE HUNTINGBEACH STORE.THE COULDNT GET ICE CREAM IN VIETNAM.I THOUGH FOR SURE HE WOULD GET SICK .TELL THIS DAY WE TALK ABOUT FARRELL'S AND AS FOR THAT RIBBON THAT READ I MADE A PIG OF MYSELF,IT IS KEEP IN OUR HEARTS AND MINES FOREVER

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  31. I have a feeling that the person who left that last comment doesn't know Farrell's has returned.

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  32. I have very fuzzy memories of going to Farrell's with a group of girls during a slumber party. I just remember being there and getting a Zoo with all the little animals in it. I was very picky and didn't like how it was one big mess of ice cream I didn't like and all the toppings run together. Of course, now I would eat it until I exploded...LOL. This was the one in Riverside on the side of the Tyler Mall (a favorite hang-out in the 70's and early 80's). We used to go to that Farrell's the most and it was always fun. There was one in San Diego at Fashion Valley Mall, but by the time I went there in the mid 80's it was kinda lame. It closed down. There was one left in Mira Mesa, but I wouldn't go there for all the tea in China... too many Asian gangs.

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  33. What great memories. Before I went on Semester at Sea (Chapman) had a really wonderful Bon Voyage Party at Farrells. Forty years ago.

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  34. I used to work at the Farrell's in HB. The Zoo was 7 1/2 lbs of Ice Cream and Sherbet, 6 bananas (I think) and just about every topping we had. I remember one guy trying to eat one by himself. It ended badly, but fortunately not inside the restaurant. :D

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  35. Farrell's still exists! There is one at the Mission Viejo Mall, one in Brea, another in Rancho Cucamonga, one in Santa Clarita and a fifth in Hawaii. I loved the one in Huntington Beach as a child!

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  36. Farrell's Ice Cream Parlour next to the Whittwood Mall- "DING DING" and a SIREN accompanied a mad dash around the store as the servers paraded your big birthday cake around the restaurant before presenting you with your massive treat. I celebrated a few birthdays there in the 1970's. It was a magical place full of happy noises. Candy seemed to grow out of the walls and I especially recall the giant rainbow colored lollipops, they where bigger than my head!

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