Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Eugene Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor Gone!

When we were in Eugene this weekend for the Oregon vs UCLA football game we read in the Register Guard some disturbing news. The Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor (later the Pearl Street Ice Cream Parlor) has become an upscale Italian Restaurant with a redesign of the building.It has been several years since we were there but I will miss one more link to my college years in Eugene. I went there the first weekend I was in Eugene as a student in the 1960's and loved the place. It was decorated in a "Gay 90's" style (1890's kids) with the staff wearing plastic straw hats and garters belts on their arms. The walls were a bright red flocked wallpaper, Tiffany lamps with lots of pictures on the walls of people eating ice cream at Farrell's. I remember they had a picture of Hubert Humphrey and a picture of Bobby Kennedy taken a few weeks before he was killed. Both had visited Farrel's during the Oregon Presidential Primary in 1968. The place had great ice cream and hamburgers. If it was your birthday they would beat a drum and the entire staff would come to your table and sing happy birthday and get every one else in the restaurant to sing along. It was a favorite for kids birthday parties but college students loved it too. I remember going there with my collage roommate and I told him how much I loved the place and he said that it was in keeping with my "middle class values." I replied "Sure is!" Long after I graduated from the University of Oregon my wife and I would return to Farrel's when we were in Eugene. After we had children we would take them there and they loved the place too. Sometime we would meet my parent there for birthday parties.Three generations of Wickre's enjoying the ice cream and atmosphere. Once, we all met there for my sisters 37th birthday and she was very embarrassed when the staff beat the drum and told every one in the restaurant to join in singing Happy Birthday for my sister's "All important 37th birthday" They asked her to stand and she said "I am standing." We could never get her to go there again unless we promised her we would not tell them it was her birthday. In later years the tables felt a little sticky and the place was a little worn around the edges but I will miss it. Memories!

Click on the title for a link to a history of the Farrell's chain.