Have you been wondering what, if anything, will become of the old Friendly's Restaurant off Blackwood-Clementon Rd. in Gloucester Township? Well, there's reportedly a proposal to bring something right on trend to the vacant building.

With all the construction going on across the road (Super Wawa; new car wash), I'd been eyeing up the Friendly's, watching and waiting to see if it, too, would be demolished or renovated.

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Ah, so many memories there for me growing up. Birthday parties, youth football game after-parties, first dates. I miss it!

Well, it's recently been reported that the Gloucester Township Zoning Board could be considering a proposal to turn the restaurant into a marijuana dispensary, 42 Freeway reports.

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A public notice addressing the potential of a forthcoming cannabis dispensary was recently issued by Gloucester Township, stating:

"The Property is an existing commercial shopping center known as Commerce Plaza II and the Applicant is proposing to renovate and occupy an existing free-standing building consisting of approximately 3,440 square feet located on the southwesterly side of the Property at the corner of Blackwood Clementon Road and Milbridge Road and previously occupied by a restaurant. The Property is in the Highway Commercial (“HC”) Zone and the proposed use is conditionally permitted."

But an initial application, from an as-yet-unknown party, was rejected by the township:

"Pursuant to a zoning permit denial issued by the Township zoning officer on July 12, 2022, the existing free-standing building in which the proposed use would be located does not comply with two of the criteria, specifically Section 416(D)(9) b. and d. The Applicant requests variance relief from the requirements of the HC Zone, specifically Section 416(D)(9) b. and d. and pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(d)(3) with respect to the proposed marijuana retail dispensary use."

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The old Friendly's sits directly in front of a single-family home development, as well as a large apartment complex.

Gloucester Zoning Board of Adjustment is holding another public hearing this Wednesday, August 10th at 7 p.m., according to 42Freeway.com, where the rejected application for the marijuana dispensary could be revisited. It will take place in Council Chambers at Gloucester Township Municipal Complex.

Do you live in the Blackwood-Clementon Road area of Gloucester Township? Would you support a cannabis dispensary at the old Friendly's restaurant? Let us know.

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