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Friendly's in Waltham, Watertown reopen Thursday after brief renovations

Posted by Jaclyn Reiss  August 27, 2013 01:45 PM

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Barry Chin / Globe Staff Photo

Trainer Brian Schweikert assists trainees Rebecca Levine, 16, and Megan Campbell, 17, before the opening of Friendly's Express in Mansfield.

As part of a nationwide rebranding, Friendly's officials will reopen two long-standing Friendly's restaurants west of Boston after closing them for a few days this week to make renovations to the buildings and revamp the menu.

The Friendly's on Lexington Street in Waltham and on Arsenal Street in Watertown will hold reopening celebrations starting at 1 p.m. in Waltham and 2:30 p.m. in Watertown, according to company officials. Both locations were closed for a few days for fresh coats of paint, new seats, reorganized seating patterns, and more distinct ice cream counters, said a company representative.

The Massachusetts-based ice cream chain has also revamped its menu to feature new dishes like the "Slinky Dog," and make improvements to classic offerings like the "Fishamajig." Friendly's employees will also go through retraining and recertification exercises.

The restaurant reopenings also come after Friendly's CEO John Maguire recently told the Globe that he plans to offer tastier fare, faster service, and cleaner restaurants to help resuscitate the brand. The company filed for bankruptcy protection in 2011 and closed about 100 restaurants, dozens of which were in Massachusetts.

However, the Waltham and Watertown locations are still standing, and locals are invited to celebrate the revamped eateries this Thursday. Maguire will hand out ice cream scoops with Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy before heading to the Watertown location, where he will do the same with Steve Magoon, Watertown's planning and economic development director.

Both events will feature free sundae cups, balloon artists, and face painting, the company said. Friendly's will also offer $1 "Happy Ending" sundaes to restaurant guests through Sept. 11.

The company will also donate $1 from every ice cream dessert sold at each location through Sept. 4 to their local Boys and Girls Clubs, officials said.

For more information, visit Friendly's official website.

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Jaclyn Reiss can be reached at jaclyn.reiss@globe.com

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