Business & Real Estate

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour closes doors after losing lease

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour on Watt Avenue closed its doors Monday after being forced out by rising rent, according to the company’s president.
Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour on Watt Avenue closed its doors Monday after being forced out by rising rent, according to the company’s president. rchang@sacbee.com

Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour closed its doors abruptly Monday after failing to secure a new lease, the company’s president said.

Paul Kramer, president of Parlour Enterprises, said rising rent was to blame for the closure, noting that the Watt Avenue location “was losing money.”

“It’s a big building, and rent was going up,” he said Monday the colorfully decorated store.

The sudden closure came three years after the Farrell brand resurfaced in Sacramento. Farrell’s operated a few stores in the region during the 1970s and 1980s, according to Kramer.

In 2000, Kramer’s company took over the trademark for the original Farrell’s Ice Cream, which was founded 1963 in Oregon. Sacramento was the Lake Forest-based company’s only outpost in Northern California.

The closure leaves Farrell’s with four stores in Southern California and one in Hawaii. The company’s Rancho Cucamonga store was also shuttered this week because of a similar landlord-tenant dispute, according to a company statement.

About 80 employees will lose their jobs this week, but Kramer said they are welcome to transfer to other locations. On Monday, a few workers were seen loading up oversized lollipops and other colorful candy.

Farrell’s Ice Cream in Sacramento was infamously known for an accident involving a fighter jet that crashed into the store’s Freeport Boulevard location in 1972, killing 22 people.

The 9,584-square-foot Farrell’s building at 1625 Watt Ave. was listed for $2.65 million in February on LoopNet, an online commercial real estate marketplace. The listing describes the property as “highly desirable to a national tenant,” noting the multimillion-dollar renovations made by Farrell’s before it opened in 2013.

Kramer said he hopes to return the brand to Sacramento within a year, though the store will likely be smaller.

“Sacramento has been wonderful,” he said.

Richard Chang: 916-321-1018, @RichardYChang

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