First T.G.I Friday’s Restaurant

On this the 15th day of March, back in 1965, the first T.G.I Friday’s restaurant opened in New York City.

TGI Friday's Logo
TGI Friday’s Logo.

The name stands for “Thank God It’s Friday”, although as of 2010 some television commercials for the chain have also made use of the alternative phrase, “Thank Goodness It’s Friday.” The chain is known for its appearance, with red-striped canopies, brass railings, Tiffany lamps and frequent use of antiques as decor.

Alan Stillman and his first T.G.I Friday's restaurant at 63rd & 1st Avenue in Manhattan.
Allan Stillman and his first T.G.I Friday’s restaurant at 63rd & 1st Avenue in Manhattan.

The restaurant’s founder Allan Stillman lived in a neighborhood with many airline stewardesses, fashion models, secretaries, and other young, single people on the East Side of Manhattan near the Queensboro Bridge. Stillman hoped that opening a bar would help him meet women. He recalled that “there was no public place for people between, say, twenty-three to thirty-seven years old, to meet.” He sought to recreate a comfortable cocktail party atmosphere in public despite having no experience in the restaurant business.

Today Friday’s is a franchise with over 900 restaurants in 60 countries.

T.G.I Friday's Restaurant in Christ Church, Barbados.
T.G.I Friday’s Restaurant in Christ Church, Barbados.

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