Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Friendly's 11th Hour - Former Friendly's (future 7-Eleven #41184) and 7-Eleven #10126 - Melbourne, FL


"It'll be interesting to see if anything will ever move into this place and if they'll modify it any, because this place will definitely make for an interesting conversion if left mostly intact." -Albertsons Florida Blog, December 22, 2018

Our starting words are the parting words from when we were last here, when AFB posted a set of photos he took all the way back in 2018. At that time, the building, while a little worn by time, still had some hopes for reuse. Unfortunately, not reuse- but demolition- is in this building's future.

Following it's approval by the zoning board, advertisements went up for prospective franchisees for this site's future tenant- 7-Eleven #41184. While Palm Bay High School is visible in the background of this shot, we're also not far from the Florida Institute of Technology, and along with it, a thorn in their side for some time- 7-Eeven #10126.

This store first shows up in newspapers in 1972, and property records indicate that this building was built all the way back in 1966, so this building is a dinosaur by Central Florida standards. Unfortunately, this store hasn't exactly aged like a fine wine. According to some, the nearby FIT considers this whole corner "blighted", and wants it demolished. It scores a 2.9 on Google Reviews, and the sole Yelp review levies it one star. They bring consistent reports of mismatched prices, short-changing cashiers, and ever-present panhandlers.

But anybody can slander a convenience store, from behind a keyboard. What's the experience like inside?

To put it, in a word: outdated.

A notable feature of this store is this weird little entryway which, whatever purpose it originally served, is now stuffed with random merchandise.

It's a small, old store with a limited selection and wall decor that is likely twice my age.

The coolers, while at least functional and not horrifically leaking, are those ancient, brass-y colored ones that I associate with backroads gas stations found only off obscure highway exits during road trips.

    This store, owing to it's age, is also the increasingly rarely spotted c-store only 7-Eleven, without even a single pump outside. While the lot probably could fit one or two, it sits next to a standard Mobil station, so their omission isn't surprising. Plus, I doubt there was a chance to add them in the seeming 0 renovations it's had since day 1. Other than the 7-Eleven, this building is also home to two smaller shops, consisting of a barber shop and an Asian restaurant.

With that visit to a depressingly decayed operating business over with, let's return to a depressingly decayed former business! Hooray!

Time has not proven kind to this building, and that wear is apparent in the paintjob. What was once a nice, eye pleasing red has been reduced to a patchy, chalky color that's been totally bleached off in many places.

I had far worse luck with interior shots than AFB did, due to a combination of filth covered windows and newly overgrown shubbery blocking my path. However, not much seems to have changed, except a much thicker layer of dust over everything. It's sad that all this is almost certainly destined to become rubble when the building comes down.

This tree looks like it can be CUT!.. I mean... what?

Do you know how much it costs for a good little palm tree like this? It's more than you'd think.

All the shrubs and decorative plants, while again almost certainly depressingly left to become mulch, at least make for some poignant photographs.

This completes our look at a sad former Friendly's, and a dinosaur of a soon-to-be-former 7-Eleven. While the building has increasingly become an eyesore over the years, as paint fades and bushes overgrow, I'm gonna be sad when the wrecking ball finally comes down on this old Friendly's. I associate the chain without nothing but good memories, of family outings and ice cream, and while we still have an operating Friendly's in Indian Harbour Beach, it was nice to have even a crude reminder closer to home.

With that, this has been Cape Kennedy Retail. Until next time.


  1. So I'm guessing FIT wasn't saying "Oh thank heaven for 7-Eleven," huh? Instead, it seems they threw a FIT about it. Ok, I'll stop now, lol.

    I'm hardly a C-store expert, but that 7-Eleven doesn't look too horrendous to me. I doubt the Sunoco C-store next to the Friendly's is much better. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if it's worse. I can certainly remember when that style of coolers were contemporary, lol, but then again, I also have some (bad) memories of when avocado green and harvest gold yellow appliances were considered contemporary!

    Although both 7-Eleven and Circle K were founded in Texas, and 7-Eleven is still headquartered in Texas, both C-store giants have been oddly absent in Houston for a few decades. We had both in the 1980s and I remember us renting VHS movies from the local Circle K (which absolutely had that style of coolers, lol). Then, around 1990 or so, both more or less faded away from this area as Stop N Go was the dominant C-store chain.

    In recent years, both Circle K and 7-Eleven have been making a bit of a comeback here in Houston. Some Valero C-Stores have rebranded themselves as Circle Ks and 7-Eleven has purchased some Stripes Convenience Stores and have been renaming them. I'm not sure if 7-Eleven is keeping the Sunoco branded fuels that Stripes sold since I believe they were the only place selling Sunoco branded fuel in Houston. So, yeah, if you see a 7-Eleven or Circle K in the Houston area, it'll probably be a modern C-Store and not something which looks like something from Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure, lol.

    I remember reading that Friendly's post from AFB. The sad condition of the building reminds me of a local abandoned Steak-N-Shake which is probably a bit newer than the Friendly's. Oh well, it could be worse. There's a long-abandoned Bennigan's in town that has been abandoned for over a decade now. The facility has immaculate landscaping, but the condition of the building is so bad that it wouldn't surprise me if there is landscaping growing in the building! Link: https://goo.gl/maps/zoGKi7zSE2kioX6e9

    1. The 7-Eleven wasn't the most awful of awful, but it's definitely the worst 7-Eleven I've been into. The whole store was also just old and worn-out feeling, and was lit in a sickly yellow that the pictures don't really capture.

      That Bennigan's is crazy, there's an abandoned one here, but it's kept up fairly well, and the parking lot is used for dealership storage. I guess they just forgot to stop paying the groundskeeper, lol.

  2. It's sad they aren't reusing the old building. There's a location near me that repurposed an old KFC, which I feel wouldn't have been a much harder conversion than this.

  3. That Friendlys looked as it was build circa 1967, since the Friendlys in my Connecticut hometown (one of 3) was built at the same town. The last Friendlys built. The first Friendlys was in the downtown (opened in the 1950s, closed in the 1990s), the other was on a major road in the north part of town (built 1964, closed 2005) and then the Friendly in the southern part of town (1967 closed 2000). It stood abandoned for 16 years, before it was torn down.