Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

When I was a kid there was this wonderful, magical place that I would sometimes get to go to. No, for once I’m not talking about Disneyland. I’m talking about Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour. Founded by Bob Farrell and Ken McCarthy in 1963 in Portland, Farrell’s quickly became the go-to place for birthdays and other celebrations for many. Farrell’s was themed to the 1890s, with employees dressed up, often with a signature boater, and the Gibson Girl was their icon. There was a location in Eugene, which is the one I visited most often, and the restaurant was plastered with images featuring Charles Dana Gibson’s work. But as is the tale with many small businesses and local chains, they were bought, many locations closing in the 90s, while a few held out, becoming independent versions. The one in Eugene operated as the Pearl Street Ice Cream Parlour, and kept up with the Gibson Girl theme and maintained the candy shop in the front. I was lucky enough to visit it one more time while attending college, before it closed in 2006, the location is now La Perla Pizzaria.

But after a long legal battle Farrell’s reemerged from the ashes with multiple locations in California and I was overjoyed when I found this out shortly after moving. We visited the one in Brea, but arrived after dark, and I wasn’t able to take any shots of my Gibson Girl inspired outfit, so today I recreated that same outfit for a visit to the one in Buena Park, located just across the street from Knott’s Berry Farm.

Today Farrell’s is just as charming, and still serves up great food and phenomenal ice cream. I highly recommend a visit if you find yourself near one of their locations!

This early exposure to the Gibson Girl, and my parents’ interest in the Victorian era I think instilled a fascination with Gibson and his work, and I spent many hours pouring over original books featuring his illustrations and copying them. And in reality, the Gibson Girl was the first ever pin-up, and was the first centerfold, when Collier’s featured a two page spread in the center, where the staples were, for easy removal, in 1903. So, yep, we basically have Gibson to thank for pin-up girls.

Blouse: Antique Alley…I think…Portland, Or.
Skirt: Pin-Up Girl Clothing, but purchased at Simply Vintage, Portland, Or.
Nude Fishnets: Nordstorm
Shoes: Miss L Fire
Purse: Thrifted
Cameo: Shoot, if I remember…I’ve had it for like ten years.

10 thoughts on “Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlour

  1. This ensemble is just beautiful! The blouse is so pretty, and I like how you layered it with lace underneath peaking through. Your hair looks super Gibson girl! I must figure out how to arrange mine with such art nouveau swirl! I totally remember going to Farrells when I was a little kid in San Diego. I think the one down there closed though sadly, and Colorado doesn’t have one to my knowledge. I’ll have to visit next time I am traveling around SoCal!

  2. Hi Janey, I though you might find this interesting but when I was in high school my friend and I went to a youth group meeting at Mr Farrells house in West Linn and of course we had ice cream there. He lived on the river then. I hope things are better for you and I miss your smile. The Foundation is still around, doing ok. I will have to look you up when I come visit Disneyland in couple of years. Tami The Foundation From Billie to Bettie Portland Oregon.

  3. My childhood Farrell’s was just south of San Francisco. A couple of years ago I just couldn’t think of their name & had to write my childhood’s land lady’s daughter ’cause I knew she’d know…& she did. I just squealed a couple of months ago when I saw an advertiser card for Farrell’s in a tourist info rack. Haven’t made it yet ’cause I live in the wilds of far northeastern CA, but will the next time I’m in Sacramento or SoCal. I sent one of those cards to the lady who remembered Farrell’s for me. Glad for a memory lane trip.

  4. Your outfit is slaying me with its awesomeness. I love the sheer blouse, marvelous novelty print, eye-catching accessories. It all jives so sublimely and looks entirely amazing on you, sweet Janey.

    ♥ Jessica

  5. So nice to see that Farrell’s is still around! I have many memories of visiting the location in south San Jose for Birthday parties. Who remembers the “Zoo”? I will be gong to the LA area soon, so I may have to stop in! Your outfit is adorable too!


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