While in Mansfield on another rainy day, Amanda, Ric and I went to Friendly’s Express for lunch. I was delighted to find it a very wheelchair friendly and accessible restaurant to have lunch. By the way, this Friendly’s Express is located right next to Knockouts – Haircuts For Men, a place I love to get my haircut!

Friendly’s, the popular restaurant opened its first “Friendly’s Express” on August 4, 2009 in Mansfield. Customers order at the counter from a limited menu, and employees bring food to the table in less than 10 minutes. It’s got a more limited menu than at a traditional Friendly’s but the food is just as good. It’s similar to the kind of dining you find a Parnera Bead or Cosi.

There is one handicapped parking space located on the side of the Friendly’s Express; this parking space is conveniently right next to the wheelchair accessible slope to the sidewalk.

On the side is also an outdoor dining area with tables and attached benches. Two of these tables have the attached bench removed on one side which provides wheelchair seating!

Upon entering the restaurant there are two entry doors but they are not automatic. So Amanda had to hold the door open for me as Ric pushed my chair inside.

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The cashier ordering counter is of a good accessible height. Also right next to the ordering counter I was happy to see that there is a good view of all the ice cream flavors that are available.

If a patron orders a meal and drink for an extra.21 cents you can get an ice cream sundae. “I Scream, You Scream, We all Scream for Ice Cream!!“ I found the soda/condiment counter is at a good height too.

The dining room area has some booths, tall tables, and plenty of accessible tables at a good height too. All the employees are kind, courteous and helpful.

The Men and Women’s single restrooms are spacious, wheelchair accessible and fully ADA compliant. The faucet, soap and hand towel dispenser are easily in my reach. As I was exiting, I used a hand sanitizer dispenser that was next to the door and within reach for it was of a perfect accessible height!

I give Friendly’s Express FOUR STARS for wheelchair accessibility. In order to earn the Fifth Star they would simply need to install automatic entry doors so customers in in wheelchairs can enter and exit independently.