Greendale says goodbye to a local institution


Dozens of people wait in line at Ferch’s on the day it closed.

Sarah Mills, Staff Writer

After 33 years of being a staple of Greendale the popular Ferch’s Malt Shoppe and Grille has now closed. Ferch’s was a big part of Greendale over the years, where middle and high school students would flock there after school just to hang out and eat with their friends. Unfortunately, the lease was up on Ferch’s and the owners felt the need to retire. This was a shock to many Greendale residents, but it also made many others reflect on the fun times they had. 

Most students at Greendale High School have been to Ferch’s at some point in time and will miss it. Junior Zach Marcinkiewitz had a routine of going after school in middle school. “My favorite memories at Ferch’s were going there after school on Fridays. Everyone would go there after school, eat fries, and sometimes just sit there talking until 4:30,” he said. 

Ferch’s really was a big part of the middle school experience for many students. “I think that it is very sad that Ferch’s is closing because I feel like Ferch’s is a part of the Greendale middle school experience,” junior Ahmad Barakat said.

Not only was Ferch’s a big part of Greendale students’ time at Greendale schools, but it has also had a big impact on GHSteachers. “I have gone here since high school. I have brought my family to Ferches monthly and of course during the parades and holiday events,” Special Education teacher Kimberly Amann said. “In addition, they hosted larger gatherings for birthday parties and my Girl Scout Troop. Mr. and Mrs. Ferchoff have been great supporters for the community and my family on a personal level.” 

Despite Ferch’s being known for their ice cream, many people enjoyed their fries along with their dining experience. “I can’t eat ice cream or any dairy, so my favorite thing to get was a vanilla coke or a cherry coke, mixed right at the fountain as it would have been done when my dad worked at a soda fountain in the 1950s as a teenager,” math teacher Kate Hulett said. “When I taught both at GHS and GMS one year I would sometimes place a to-go order for french fries and enjoy them with my lunch when I traveled back to GHS for my afternoon classes.” 

Former Ferch’s employee junior Jaden Pedrero believes that Ferch’s will ever hold a spot in the Greendale community’s heart. “Lots of people liked going to the village to get ice cream or burgers so the impact is great. Ferch’s made the village more popular in a way but not everyone is sad, some people are mad and confused because Ferch’s made a lot of people happy,” he said. “It was two weeks before Ferches closed and during my shift she pulled me aside to her office. She started talking about how she is going to retire. Then she said, ‘Since I’m retiring, I’m going to close Ferch’s’”. 

One of the biggest questions students all have is what is going to replace Ferch’s. Many feel that it’s necessary to put in another 50’s style diner. Science teacher Andrew Lasch believes that Ferch’s will be replaced quickly. “The village has usually been able to replace shops relatively quickly when one leaves, so I don’t think it will be vacant too long. I don’t know if its building is specifically zoned for a restaurant, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see something else move in considering there’s already several other restaurants in the village.”