Friendly’s Welcomes Back Banned Esquire Editor

Caption: Passersby walk past a Friendly's restaurant in Boston's Brighton district, Monday, March 27, 2000. In an attempt to boost returns, Friendly Ice Cream Corp. announced Monday that it was closing nearly a quarter of its 600 restaurants in 15 states. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Caption Writer: JWE SRS Headline: FRIENDLY'S RESTAURANT Special Instructions: DIGITAL IMAGE Byline: STEVEN SENNE Byline Title: STF Credit: AP Source: AP Object Name: FRIENDLYS CLOSINGS Date Created: 20000327 City: BOSTON Province-State: MA Country Name: USA Original Transmission Reference: BX105 Category: Library Tag 03082007 Business
The Friendly’s restaurant chain is headquartered in Western Massachusetts.
AP Photo/Steven Senne

Esquire articles editor Joe Keohane wrote recently on the magazine’s website that as a pre-teen he created a bit of mischief at his neighborhood Friendly’s. third keenest memory was being banished from the restaurant for life for catapulting a series of sugar packets over the divider wall between the seating area and the kitchen and into the fry-o-lator, which is not a good place for sugar and bits of paper to go.

At the time it seemed hilarious. Banned for life! I wanted an honorary scepter and that on a sash. I win! But in retrospect, I now realize that the reason all those waitresses were so (hilariously!) gruff is because we were such monstrous assholes. I'd like to take this opportunity to apologize to all of them. Ladies: Can I come back now?

Earlier this week, Esquire revealed Friendly’s had heard the plea and would relent. Keohane received a personal letter from the Massachusetts chain’s CEO John Maguire, personally inviting him back to the restaurant—complete with a gift card. He also got a Tweet for good measure.

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Maguire, the former COO at Panera Bread, is relatively new at Friendly’s, having started as CEO in 2012. Perhaps mercy factors into his strategy for the chain’s turnaround.

h/t MassLive