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WILBRAHAM, Mass. (AP) The Friendly's ice cream and restaurant chain has closed 23 more restaurants around the Northeast.

The Wilbraham, Massachusetts-based company cited dramatic changes in the areas where some restaurants are located for the closures of the corporate-owned shops.

The chain is closing 14 restaurants in upstate New York, three in Massachusetts, three in Connecticut, two in New Hampshire, and one in Maine.  The closures include the Danbury and Southbury locations.

CEO George Michel says employees at the restaurants being closed will be offered jobs at other Friendly's locations or offered severance.

Michel says the closures ``will best position the brand for a bright future.''

Friendly's now has 174 restaurants 77 corporate-owned and 97 franchisee-owned down from 254 when the company emerged from bankruptcy in 2012.

The chain started with a single store in Springfield in 1935.

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