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Turning Point restaurant leases vacant Doylestown Friendly’s


The long-popular, then years-vacant Friendly’s restaurant at the Doylestown Shopping Center will be back in business later this year as the latest Turning Point restaurant, shopping center owners recently announced.

Turning Point, a New Jersey-based company with several Pennsylvania locations, signed a lease for the 2,800-square-foot store on North Main Street and plans a total revamp of the property, according to Sean Sablosky, who co-owns the center with his brother, Chris Robbins.

Striking a deal to bring Turning Point to the shopping center wasn’t easy. Starbucks, which is next to the former Friendly’s, had a “non-compete” clause in its lease that said whoever leased the free-standing brick building could not serve coffee, which eliminated many potential tenants. Turning Point, as a restaurant serving breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days a week, will serve coffee, said Sablosky. It does not offer dinner, closing at 3 p.m.

The compromise was reached when Starbucks agreed to Turning Point in exchange for the shopping center working with the coffee magnate to relocate its outside menu boards away from its service window, explained Sablosky.

While negotiating the lease was complicated, Sablosky said, that’s the nature of commercial real estate. “It’s like a chess match, sometimes the moves take months, sometimes decades.”

The wait was worth it, added Sablosky. “Thousands of hours went into this over the last few years. The bar was high. We’re part of the community; we wanted to do the right thing for our tenants and the larger community.

Turning Point, he said, “is a perfect fit.”

Kirk Ruoff, founder and CEO of Turning Point, said he’s looking forward to being a part of Doylestown. “It’s a great town and a great community….it will be a great town to do business in.” he added.

Doylestown will be the businesses 19th location. The chain has restaurants in New Jersey as well, and will soon be opening a restaurant in Delaware, said Ruoff.

Although the footprint of the former Friendly’s, which was a staple at the center for some 50 years, will not change, everything else about it will. “Not one visual feature will remain the same,” Sablosky said.

There will be seating for approximately 80 inside, with seating for another 20 outdoors.

Sablosky said, the hope is for the new restaurant to open in the fall. However, he noted, there are many variables at play, including permits, contractor’s schedules and the weather.