Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour comes back to Sacramento

Erika Bradley

Sacramento has brought back Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour, an old-fashioned spot that makes customers feel like they just stepped into an early 1900s ice cream party.

Located on 1625 Watt Avenue, Manager Zachariah Federowski said owners Paul Kramer and Mike Fleming wanted to revive the 1920s themed parlour in Sacramento after its closing in 1986.

In 1972, the Farrell’s that was located on Freeport Boulevard across from the Executive Airport had a plane crash into its structure killing 22 people. Before re-opening last August, Kramer and Fleming asked some of the survivors and witnesses for permission to launch at a new location and most of them approved.

Jim Doucette, Executive Director of the Firefighters Burn Institute, was 12 years old when he saw the crash from his house.

“I lived in South Sacramento near the accident and I remember seeing the fireball,” Doucette said. “It affected me personally and all of Sacramento for a long time. I have been contacted by the new owners [and] have gotten to be acquainted with them. They are very nice people who want all their restaurants to be a positive influence on their community.”

“The original way that Bob Farrell [designed the restaurant] is the way you see it today,” Federowski said. “[Kramer and Fleming] wanted to make it the original Farrell’s.”

Walking into Farrell’s, customers can pick up the friendly and happy vibes. With servers dressed in pin-striped vests, old-fashioned ties cane hats and newspaper-like menus, the parlour offers customers of all ages an experience no other place in Sacramento can give.

Regardless the time of day, the ambiance at Farrell’s is festive as the early 20th century music and photos brings old memories.

“The most unique thing about Farrell’s is the guests that come in here,” Federowski said. “There are people who have come in since they were 5 years old and now they’re (now) in their 60s.”

Sandee Bird is a long-time customer that came back to Farrell’s for the first time in more than three decades and was excited to see if it was the same as she remembered.

“[I] went years ago, about 35 years ago, when the children were small and it was just the funnest place because [of the] birthday[s] and balloons and singing,” Bird said. “The kids loved it.”

The most popular food options at Farrell’s are the old fashioned burgers like the “All- American Burger.” Appetizers range from chili cheese fries to “Ooey-Gooey Cheese Sticks.” Portions are large and prices range from $8-$13.

But while the food is notorious, the ice cream has always been the star of the show.

The “Triple-Chocolate Brownie Sundae” is one of the most ordered ice cream dishes and offers one of the largest servings. When customers finish their sundae, they are greeted by the staff that sings a song dedicated to finishing the dessert.

The restaurant focuses its service on timeliness and making connections with customers to ensure a special experience.

Natasha Livermore is an employee who has worked at the Farrell’s since its opening. She said her childhood birthdays always fell short of expectations, because of that, she is inspired to makes others’ birthday celebrations at the parlour as special as possible.

“When I was a kid, my birthday was all [of my family’s’ combined as one] and it wasn’t celebrated as big as it should be as a child’s birthday,” Livermore said. “So working here has made me feel like everyone should have their special day just for them.”

At Farrell’s, birthdays are celebrated with good food and ice cream, goofy dances, songs, games and a giant bass drum. Everyone is made to feel their celebration is special and the staff makes sure each customer leaves with a smile.

Today, the Sacramento location is the only one in Northern California with six in Southern California.

“It is a nice place to bring a family,” Doucette said. “I remember going to [all of the] Farrell’s locations back in the ‘70s and it brings back good memories of me growing up in Sacramento.”