SAUGUS — Friendly’s is freezing out its Route 1 location.
When customers visited the restaurant for a bite to eat early this week, they were greeted with a sign relaying the news.
“We apologize for disappointing you on this visit, but this location is now closed for business,” the company said through a sign posted in the drive thru.
The restaurant chain has been serving up ice cream sundaes and burgers since it was founded in 1935 in Springfield. But its Saugus store closed permanently on Monday, Sept. 9, a spokeswoman for the company confirmed.
“As shifting consumer demographics and market dynamics present challenges across the industry, it is incumbent on us to regularly evaluate our restaurant footprint with a focus on long-term viability and strategic resource investment as we work to re-invigorate the beloved Friendly’s brand,” said spokeswoman Marie Espinel in a statement. “Unfortunately, in some cases, this process results in the difficult decision to close underperforming locations that can no longer be sustained by the local market.”
The company has vowed to transfer as many of the Saugus employees to other stores as possible, and encouraged patrons to visit restaurants in Stoneham and Peabody.
Friendly’s announced in April it would close 23 locations in Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, New Hampshire and Maine.