Friendly's Restaurant to be Converted into Framingham Mosque

June 27, 2006

Source: The Metro West Daily News

On June 27, 2006 The Metro West Daily News reported, "The downtown eatery once known for serving frosty treats on hot days now will be the new home of the Islamic Society of Framingham. The society bought the former Friendly's Ice Cream shop on Union Avenue on May 31 and plans to move its mosque from its South Street location after putting the building through about $75,000 in renovations. The refurbishing likely will include stripping out much of the industrial equipment in the building and replacing the booths with a carpeted floor. Fareed Siddiqui, a founding member of the society, said people should not expect the former scoop shop to be replaced by an ornate building. 'We're growing so there's a need for a bigger place,' said Siddiqui. 'Our religion tries to make things simple. The only thing we need is a nice, clean place where we can congregate and worship'... If approved, it will be the second mosque in MetroWest and the only one between Wayland and Worcester. Friendly's sold the building to the Islamic Society for $615,000. The building is assessed at $541,400. The society had been eyeing a move to a permanent home for a while, having spent its early years in rented space. The new home is about 2,000 square feet and has parking for 25 cars. The Islamic Society of Framingham has between 50 and 75 active members, said Siddiqui. Before they can open the mosque, society officials likely will need to go before the Planning Board for site plan review under the Dover Amendment, a process being undertaken by South Middlesex Opportunity Council as it tries to move its Sage House program."