Last week me and Christopher (both natives of the Phoenix area) got to talking about the fondly remembered local businesses that we used to enjoy as kids. One of the first places that came up was Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlours. I used to love going the location in Tempe, which back in the ’70s was surrounded by nothing but dusty vacant lots. The decor was of the “lots of crazy crap on the walls” variety with a slightly Gay ’90s twist. I remember they also had one of those Love Grip machines. Usually my family would order a concoction called “The Zoo” so that the staff would bring it out with bells ringing and horns blowing. The Zoo came in a huge bowl with cool plastic animals perched on the many scoops of ice cream. I came across a tribute site to Farrell’s only to learn that it wasn’t a local establishment at all — more of a Southwest U.S. chain, in fact. Surprisingly, a few Farrell’s remain open for business.
By the way, the other places we talked about were Yellow Front (rustic shop to get jeans and camping equipment), UTotem (convenience stores), the Hostess Bakery Outlet my mom used to drive in from another town for, and Gemco (general purpose department store).