Remembering Farrell’s in Montclair


Farrell’s means a lot to many longtime Inland Valley residents who marked birthdays and other occasions at the Montclair Plaza ice cream parlor, which operated through the 1970s and into the mid-1980s before folding like other locations after a disastrous buyout. Now the chain is back, with SoCal restaurants in Rancho Cucamonga, Riverside (which opened Jan. 31), Brea, Mission Viejo and Santa Clarita. Here’s its website.

Montclair’s original Farrell’s was located at 4971 Moreno St. and opened in 1969. It was demolished in 1987.

The photo above was contributed by Glenn Blakeslee to the Growing Up in Montclair page on Facebook and taken from an Images of America history book. For the record, though, it’s evidently not of the Montclair Farrell’s. Steve Lustro, Montclair’s community development director, said the architectural plans on file with the city show a modern exterior rather than the typical “period” style depicted in the photo. The orientation to the street is different in the plans as well.

* Update: The bottom two photos, from Images of America’s Montclair history book, were forwarded by Andrea Phillips of City Hall.

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  • John E. Bredehoft (Empoprises)

    Years before I met my wife, her family went to the Farrell’s in Montclair one evening, and her brother took up the challenge to eat a “pig’s trough” of ice cream. He successfully ate the ice cream, but much of it ended up on the Montclair Plaza parking lot afterwards.
    While we’re thinking about that period, the area where Applebee’s now stands today used to host a 50’s place with a dance floor. Can’t remember the name, however…

  • Charles Bentley

    I worked as a short-order cook at the Montclair Farrell’s the summer after I graduated from high school. I still have my Farrell’s name badge and believe I have my clip-on tie (that one might be a search).
    Most people recall the ice cream specialties, but I worked in the kitchen doing sandwiches, burgers, fries, and other assorted fare. It was only when a double-zoo order would come in and the front-of-house staff was short that I would get called up to help race one of the zoo hammocks around the store. Trust me, seeing one of the guys slip and fall during a zoo run is something you never forget!
    My shift would start at 5 p.m. and I’d usually get home about 2 a.m., a schedule that worked until I began college. By October of my freshman year, I realized I couldn’t work the night shift and still be ready to participate in 8 a.m. classes. I wound up quitting that job and eventually wound up working three part-time jobs that (sort of) allowed for more regular sleep.
    I still haven’t visited the new store in Rancho. I’m anxious to see what their “kitchen” menu includes and how things differ from back in the day — some 35+ years ago.

  • SeeSaw

    I think the dance hall was, “Rock Around the Clock”.

  • SeeSaw

    That same sight also used have a “Fuddruckers”.

  • John Laird

    I was in the opening kitchen crew in 1969 – a summer job after my first year at UC Santa Cruz. We watched Neil Armstrong land on a tv in the waiters bar in front of the kitchen window. There was only one customer at the time, and we invited him back to watch. Interested in contact with anyone else from that opening staff.