Fire crews from in and around Pottsville responded to a call at Friendly’s restaurant Monday evening.
At around 7 p.m., multiple departments responded to a kitchen fire call there.
By the time The Canary arrived, not long after calls went out to local fire departments, some volunteers were already headed back to their pickups.
It only took us 20 minutes to get what we needed at the mall and by the time we were on our way out — navigating that mine field — all the fire crews were gone.
Pottsville Friendly’s Flies
A lot of people on social media wanted to know if the “fire” killed any of the fruit flies.
According to a Dec. 6 safety inspection report, an investigator with the state’s Bureau of Food Safety and Laboratory Services found Friendly’s to have a fruit fly problem.
Here’s what the report detailed:
- Observed numerous deceased fruit flies stuck to surrounding surfaces of ice cream cooler circulation fans located on reach down ice cream freezers.
- Observed numerous deceased fruit flies located on top food contact surfaces of ice cream cup storage and other cleaned/sanitized utensils at ice cream service station/room.
- Observed live fruit fly activity located in following areas: Walls/ceiling near dish wash unit and in general area of ice creams dispense/service area.
The inspection was the restaurant’s second in 2019. The first was conducted in May following an ownership change. Safety inspectors found several violations at the time but none involving fruit flies.
In a follow-up to the fly problem, conducted on Dec. 11, the inspection report revealed “fruit fly activity located near/on ceiling tiles of dish wash unit area.”
So, that shows that most of the fly problems had been handled but at least one persisted.
According to the publisher of The Shenandoah Sentinel, monitoring the scanner Monday evening, the name “Ponderosa” was dropped over the radio.
Talk about a throwback!
But @Kaylin5171 says in her tweet, “Hasn’t been that in my lifetime, I don’t think.”
Heard the name Ponderosa pop up on the fire scanner at one point. Hasn’t been that in my lifetime, I don’t think.
— Kaylee Lindenmuth (@Kaylin5171) January 7, 2020
Of course, they’re talking about the fact that Friendly’s used to be Ponderosa Steakhouse. We can’t remember when that place closed but we can remember how, during its heyday, people used to be lined up out the door to get in.
The Ponderosa-Bonanza-Bonanza Connection
Did you know that Ponderosa’s name was inspired by the TV show Bonanza?
And the Ponderosa restaurant chain actually started several years after another steakhouse with a Bonanza-inspired name, appropriately named … Bonanza.
The local Bonanza was located at the former Schuylkill Mall in Frackville. Before the mall got torn down, the former Bonanza spent time as a Chinese restaurant that never seemed to have any customers.
Bonanza was actually started by one of the stars of the show, Dan Blocker, who played Eric “Big Hoss” Cartwright.
Today, Bonanza and Ponderosa are part of the same company, Homestyle Dining LLC.
If you’re hankering for some of Hop Sing’s cooking, the nearest Bonanza restaurant isn’t that far away. You’ll find the nearest Bonanza at:
- 574 Susquehanna Blvd
Hazle Township, PA 18202