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Friendly's restaurant chain reinvents itself

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WILBRAHAM, MA (AP) -

The Friendly's restaurant chain is emerging from a rough period in company history with a new image, a revamped menu and a new attitude.

Friendly Ice Cream LLC CEO John Maguire says the Wilbraham-based company is in the process of renovating many of its 114 company and 247 franchised restaurants.

Menu changes include real hard ice cream instead of soft serve to make Fribble milk shakes; haddock instead of the cheaper pollock in the iconic Fishamajig sandwich; and fresh meat instead of frozen patties for the hamburgers.

Maguire tells The Republican newspaper (http://bit.ly/112wdKe ) that even the music being piped into restaurants has changed.

Friendly's, founded in 1935, filed for bankruptcy protection in late 2011, closed 100 of its restaurants and shed about 2,000 employees.

Maguire came on board last April.

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