By Staff

WESTFIELD (CBS) — A new Friendly’s is opening up in Massachusetts next month – but it will be different from the restaurant many in the region have grown up knowing.

“Friendly’s Café” is set to open in Westfield in early February. And unlike the traditional dine-in experience, customers won’t sit down and wait for a server to take their order.

The counter at Friendly’s Cafe (Image credit: Friendly’s)

“The new fast-casual service model provides guests the flexibility to order and pay at their own pace,” a spokesperson for Friendly’s said in a statement. “Upon entering the Friendly’s Café, guests will have the option of ordering directly at the counter or thru a QR code at their table where the food and ice cream will be delivered to them once ready.”

The new location is 2,700 square feet, with seating for 45. One side of the building will have four parking spots reserved for curbside pickup.

The indoor dining area of the Friendly’s Cafe (Image credit: Friendly’s)

“Customers will also be able to order food online in advance and pick-up their items from a designated to-go area or have it delivered,” Friendly’s says.

Friendly’s website lists 28 restaurant locations in Massachusetts and two in New Hampshire.

The exterior rending of the new concept Friendly’s Cafe (Image credit: Friendly’s)

Friendly’s was founded in 1935. The first shop opened in Springfield, Massachusetts, and the second one came five years later in West Springfield. By 1951, there were 10 Friendly’s operating in Western Massachusetts and Connecticut. S. Prestley Blake, who co-founded Friendly’s with his brother and turned it into a national chain, died at 106 years old in 2021.

The regional favorite has seen a steady string of closures in recent years. In 2019, Friendly’s closed 23 restaurants in the northeast. The last Friendly’s on Cape Cod closed for good in 2020. Staff