Schenectady County

Schenectady loses Friendly Restaurant on Nott Terrace

Schenectady is a little less friendly following the closing April 6 of the Friendly Restaurant on No
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The city is a little less friendly following the closing April 6 of the Friendly Restaurant on Nott Terrace.

The corporation closed the store because it was underperforming, said company spokeswoman Lynn Bolton.

“It is always a tough decision to close a restaurant,” she said.

The company transferred the store’s seven employees to its other city restaurant on Altamont Avenue. It also has a restaurant in Rotterdam Square Mall and dozens of other locations in the Capital Region.

Local economic development officials said the company told them the store requires major investment and remodeling, including a new roof and heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems. The company decided not to reinvest in this site versus other locations that also need major remodeling, officials said.

Bolton said the company has not made a decision on what to do with the property. However, Ray Gillen, chairman of the Metroplex Development Authority, said the company promised to work closely with Metroplex to redevelop the site.

“It is a great location. It has good parking, good visibility and it is near Union College and is across from a church,” Gillen said. “We already have had interest in the site from people mostly in retail.”

The restaurant is across from the site of the Graduate College of Union University’s proposed $8 million classroom and administration building. University officials hope to build the structure sometime within the next five years.

Gillen said Friendly officials were unaware of the project but that it would not have affected their decision to close the restaurant.

Friendly is a publicly held company with 650 family-style restaurants in 15 states, primarily in the Northeast. In recent years, it has accumulated a large debt, encountered poor customer ratings and faced upset shareholders, according to business reports.

The company saw its first quarter earnings in March 2007 decline over a similar period last year from $123 million to $51 million and its operating income decline from $3.8 million to a deficit of $900,000, according to Hoovers.com.

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