January 28/Wilbraham, Mass./The Republican-- Friendly Ice Cream Corp., the cash-strapped restaurant chain that recently shed dozens of stores and millions in debt, is banking on the marriage of cone and burger in a new partnership with Burger King, according to media reports.

Despite Friendly's financial problems, the ice cream and restaurant chain recently entered a joint venture with Burger King, opening a new, 200-square-foot counter space in Jackson, N.J., home to Six Flags Great Adventure and close to New York and Philadelphia, that sells both restaurants' offerings.

"Friendly's Scoop," as the new shop is called, is a true hybrid: part ice cream parlor, part burger joint. And Friendly's officials are so optimistic the new model will take root, they are planning up to 10 of the smaller restaurants at locations to be announced.

Friendly's recently sold more than 100 locations and wiped away nearly $300 million worth of debt in a restructuring deal that allowed its corporate owners to repurchase the iconic brand for $122.6 million. The company emerged from bankruptcy earlier this month, just three months after filing for protection in October.

"This will help increase awareness of Friendly's throughout 50 states instead of just 16," Harsha Agadi, Friendly's chief executive, told the Boston Globe. "It opens up a whole avenue of growth to go into nontraditional locations, such as airports, stadiums, and hospitals.

From the January 27, 2012, Prepared Foods' Daily News.