Friendly’s has bid farewell to its longtime spot in Miller Place, and stepping into the vacated space will be Taco Bell and Smoothie King.
The leasing agent for North Country Plaza indicated on its website that the two eateries are among six new tenants moving into storefronts in the Route 25A shopping center.
Greater Port Jefferson previously reported that Daisy’s Nashville Lounge will open in early 2024 in the location that Recipe Seven bar and restaurant had called home for seven years before closing last summer. The other new tenants are Lighthouse Veterinary Center, Body20 and Pediatric Dentist, according to the property’s leasing agent, RIPCO.
While there are 24 existing Taco Bells across Long Island, only two other Smoothie Kings call Long Island home — in Melville and Carle Place. Currently, the nearest Taco Bell to North Country Plaza is almost four miles away in Port Jefferson Station.
A sad goodbye to Friendly’s
Friendly’s sold its last Fribble in North Country Plaza on Sunday, Dec. 17, ending a longstanding relationship with the Miller Place community.
“I made some wonderful memories there with life-long friends, a place that helped me pay my way through not one but 2 college degrees and my first new car,” he wrote. “I spent many weeknights getting changed in the bathroom into my uniform for my shift after an 8 hour day of classes, locking the doors at 1 am in the summer after the place was ransacked and covered in melted ice cream, cherry stems and cold waffle fries.
“We would get assaulted by droves of families and kids coming from concerts during the holidays from surrounding schools and sports teams that couldn’t eat enough chicken fingers if they tried,” he continued. “I learned a lot about hard work there, but most importantly people, selling food to local working class families through the recession, it was a place that I’ll always fondly remember. So long old friend.”
There are now less than a dozen Friendly’s restaurants remaining in operation on Long Island. Friendly’s is still open in Coram, Commack, East Islip, East Meadow, Riverhead, Ronkonkoma, Sayville, Shirley, Stony Brook, Massapequa Park and Medford.
A sign on the door of the vacant Miller Place storefront reads:
“Thank you for your patronage. This restaurant is permanently closed. Please come visit Jenn and the Miller Place team at Lake Ronkonkoma Friendly’s.”
The imminent arrival of Smoothie King and Taco Bell is the latest in a string of significant business developments in the vicinity of North Country Plaza. Last month, Rite Aid in neighboring Miller Place Square closed.
Additionally, the construction of a new 12,500-square-foot food market on vacant land across the street from North Country Plaza (and just west of Walgreens) is under consideration by the Brookhaven Town Planning Department.