Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The day the music died. The party music...

Ever been to a Farrell's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor and Restaurant?  Not to brag, but I have. Several times.

The whole theme of the joint is supposed to be 1890's nostalgia.  Harken you back to the days when men wore red and white vertically striped jackets and straw top hats.  All the servers were dressed like that.

It was a happy place.  A feast for my senses as I watched servers clapping and singing as they worked.  Oh, and adding to the magic was a player piano too.  It would belt out all kinds of fun old fashioned tunes...Funny, I don't remember what songs exactly.  Probably "Oh Susanna" or some barbershop crap.

And if it was your birthday, the fine folks at Farrell's restaurants made you a fucking V...I....P....I mean, you were the SHIT, if you went there for your birthday...which is why I wanted to go there every year.

As soon as I walked in the door I'd give my parents a long intense stare serving as a reminder to tell our server, "Psst, it's Trina's birthday today...Do you do anything special?" knowing full well I'd get an ice cream sundae big enough to host a social...Then the pretend, "Oh!  Really?  That's so nice!" when the server says, "Why indeed we DO!  I'll just let them know about our special guest."  It was only after the birthday transaction between my parents and our server was complete could I actually relax and eat my dinner...

I envisioned the cooks in the back getting all jazzed about my birthday...Planning out the timing of my sundae. Telling the other chefs,"Hold it on that chocolate fudge and whipped cream pal..Trina needs it.  It's her birthday! Isn't that GREAT?"

Farrell's was a bit of a drive for my parents...We lived near Boulder.  Farrells was near Denver...probably a good 40 minute jaunt.  But for my birthday?  My parents were down for it.  So we'd make the trek.

Then came my 10th birthday.  And as usual when asked about what I wanted I'd dreamily conjure up my fine Farrell's memories and request the annual pilgrimage.

I dressed in Farrell's finery.  Always had to kinda step it up dressing wise.  I'd put on my Christmas dress.  Sure it was red velvet and had holly on the bow.  But it was still winter.  And matched perfectly with Farrell's decor.  Screw it.  It was my day.

We drove to Denver and pulled into the run down shopping center where Farrell's was located.  As we made our approach in the parking lot, I noticed something peculiar.  I'm sure my dad noticed the same and was likely praying as much.

Farrell's was closed.  Zero lights.  Zero music.  Zero fun.  "What the....whaaa?" was all I could think as all of my family stared at the sadly dark building...stunned.  Dad looked pretty surprised as he tried to put a positive spin on the whole ordeal.

"Trina, it looks like Farrell's went out of business dear.  But how about we go home.  I'll buy several flavors of ice cream from King Sooper's and make you the same thing at home."  All I could say was, "Uh...uh huh...ok."

Gradually as we drove home I began feeling anger towards Farrell's.  "The nerve of that place closing before my birthday.  Would it kill them to host one more birthday for me?  Now where the hell do I go to celebrate?  McDonald's?  In the back with the stupid talking tree?  No NO!  I don't even get McDonald's!!!  I get KING SOOPER'S ice cream...crammed into a cereal bowl! Served by a guy in horn rimmed glasses!  This sucks!"

But what could I do.  The following year my parents made it up to me by taking me to Casa Bonita.  A mexican place with cliff divers and food that would make you want to follow them.

See ya'....


  1. Last time I went to Farrell's was for my 16th birthday (aka the Ice Age). My best friends (with the help of my mom) blindfolded me, dressed me up (I vaguely remember underwear on the outside of my pants and some head-gear) and after a drive by of my object of desire's house (still blindfolded), they led me in to Farrell's. Oh what a wonderful memory! Thanks for the post, I'm now smiling :-)

  2. Hi Lisa! Thanks for stopping by! Wasn't Farrell's the bomb? Loved! :)

  3. Bastards!

    There was a similar ice cream place in my hometown. But those fuckers would make you stand on your chair and sing to the restaurant before bringing out your food.