Community says farewell to Fosters Freeze in Menlo Park


The farewell celebration for Fosters Freeze on Wednesday, Sept. 30, attracted no less than a marching band, a TV crew, and a crowd of people substantial enough to consume the entirety of the shop's remaining ice cream supply within an hour.

Fosters Freeze first opened in Menlo Park in 1949, according to the Menlo Park Historical Association, and closed its service windows to customers for the last time at approximately 7:30 p.m. Wednesday evening when the last of the hamburger buns in stock had been served.

Doug Anderson, an organizer of the Los Trancos Woods Marching Band, visited Fosters Freeze, located at 580 Oak Grove Ave., about half a block east of El Camino Real in Menlo Park, last week and said that the place had been a "home away from home" for his two sons. He reached out to other members of the band and successfully gathered 18 performers, who played at the farewell.

Even after the ice cream ran out, visitors waited in line just to say their goodbyes to the Lee family, the owners of the shop. Large pieces of poster paper taped to the wall of the building were quickly filled with colorful "Thank yous" and notes of appreciation for the Lees.

The party was organized by Menlo Park resident Laurie Gallagher, who in 2006 circulated a petition with her two sons to save Fosters Freeze when it was then threatened by development plans. The petition garnered 1,000 signatures, she said. When the Lees put up the sign several weeks ago that they would be closing the store, she wanted to do something special to say goodbye.

"(The Lees) have been so wonderful and we're so grateful to them for keeping it going for 30 years," she said. "I couldn't let it go without giving it the send-off it deserves."

According to one of Ms. Gallagher's sons, Brady Gallagher, who at age 13 also gathered signatures for the petition to save Fosters Freeze in 2006, "Menlo Park is becoming this ridiculous place where no one can afford to run a small business."

"There'll never be another Fosters or anything like it in Menlo Park," he said.

Related content:

Local effort to preserve memory of Fosters Freeze in Menlo Park

Community rallies to save Fosters Freeze in Menlo Park

It's all but over for Fosters Freeze in Menlo Park

We can't do it without you.
Support local journalism.


Like this comment
Posted by Angelika
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 5, 2015 at 12:15 pm

How sad to see another icon bite the dust.
People often knock down the old for the new instead of understanding that legacy. What's next, the cemetery on Santa Cruz Ave?

Like this comment
Posted by Dick Tjaden
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Oct 7, 2015 at 12:03 pm

Wonderful Memories! In 1953 I went to work for the then owner--- Frank Pearson --- at .50c per hour pushing the broom at 5:30 am. I walked to work and then walked to Menlo-Atherton as a freshman. Norma Parkes, of Redwood City, was Frank's "key employee." Both wonderful individuals that helped a young man head in the correct direction that hard work pays off. Such fun times then................and Johnnie's Smoke Shop next door!!!!!Priceless times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

Don't be the last to know

Get the latest headlines sent straight to your inbox every day.

Simply Sandwiches shutters in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 10 comments | 3,298 views

More Stupid Plastic Food Things
By Laura Stec | 11 comments | 1,818 views

Operation Varsity Blues
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 8 comments | 1,463 views

El Camino Is Rapidly Becoming The Bright New Face of Menlo Park
By Dana Hendrickson | 7 comments | 1,354 views

Couples: Write a Personal Ad . . . to Your Partner . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,343 views