Eastside Heritage Center recently featured an “Eastside Story” about a popular ice cream shop that used to be in Downtown Bellevue. Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour was located near Northeast 8th Street and 102nd Avenue Northeast.
The popular family destination was originally established in Oregon in 1963 by Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy. The design was that of the early 1900s, with the staff wearing dresses and boater hats. There was a piano that served as entertainment.
By 1970, there were 58 locations and it later grew to 130 locations nationwide after Marriott purchased the business.
Farrell’s featured pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs, and huge ice cream sundaes. They also held events like birthday parties, and had options like the “Zoo Party” sundae, which included 5 ice creams, 3 sherbets, 5 toppings, whipped cream, buts, cherries, and bananas, as well as balloons, party hats, lunch, and a certificate for the birthday person.
The popular menu item was the Hot Fudge Volcano. It cost $17 and could serve up to 10 people, and featured 30 scoops of vanilla ice cream plus toppings.
Eastside Heritage Center noted that in 1975, Farrell’s attempted to set a new Guinness World Record for largest ice cream sundae. They gave it a good effort with a mountain of 1,675 pounds of chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry ice cream. Because it collapsed, they did not get to add the 100 pounds of toppings.
Over time, legal battles and debt eventually put the ice cream company in debt. This led to a closure for many of their locations, including Bellevue.