An excavator moves debris Tuesday at the site of the former Friendly’s restaurant on Western Avenue in Augusta. Aspen Dental, which is currently located about a half mile up the road, is planning to build a larger office space there. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

AUGUSTA — Demolition got underway this week to prepare the site of the former Friendly’s restaurant for the construction of a new dental office.

In March 2022, the Augusta Planning Board approved a plan to build a new Aspen Dental office at 48 Western Ave., replacing the restaurant that closed in April 2019 and creating a larger office for the existing dental practice.

Aspen Dental currently has an office at 102 Western Ave, about half a mile away.

An employee enters Friendly’s on Western Avenue in Augusta in April 2019 after the establishment closed. The building was demolished this week to make way for an Aspen Dental office. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal file

Friendly’s, based in Massachusetts, announced the closure of about two dozen restaurants across the northeast, citing shifting demographics and changing consumer tastes.

The restaurant building, which was about 3,920 square feet, will be replaced by a new, 4,000 square-foot building. Access to the site will continue to be from Western Avenue.

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