208 West Main Road, Middletown
(401) 846-2767

What is an Awful Awful?

As Newport Creamery's advertising copy has been known to say, "It's a drink!" Specifically, an ice cream drink. Even more specifically, a blend of flavored syrup, milk, and a secret frozen ice milk mix. The ice milk differentiates the Awful Awful from its cousins, the Cabinet and the Frappe, and from its evil twin, the Friendly's Fribble Shake. Awful Awfuls are most readily available in Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Mocha, Chocolate Mint, and Coffee flavors, but can be made from any flavor syrup (ipecac-flavored Awful Awful anyone?). And while Newport Creamery will make an Awful Awful out of any flavor ice cream they carry, we recommend steering clear of anything with chunks—Oreo bits and chocolate chips just gunk up your straw. Awful Awfuls are "Awful big, awful good," and if you can drink three at a sitting, the fourth one is free!

The Boston Globe's Francis Storrs explained the origin of the Awful Awful in a 2013 article:

True ice cream old-timers will remember the pre-Fribble days, when Friendly served the Awful Awful. Yes, Friendly. No, not Newport Creamery—well, both actually. Let me start over. Back in the 1940s, Bond's Ice Cream of New Jersey invented a frosty drink of flavored syrup and ice milk. Legend says a Bond's customer gulped down the 24-ounce concoction and promptly declared it awful big and awful good. The name stuck. After applying for a trademark in June 1948, Bond licensed the Awful Awful to Friendly over in Massachusetts and subsequently to Newport Creamery in Rhode Island. The two were New England competitors, true, but wicked polite ones: Neither seemed to mind sharing. When Friendly (today called Friendly's) decided to expand into Bond's territory in the 1960s, however, it needed to rename the Awful Awful. In a contest, three customers came up with "Fribble"—a real word meaning "a thing of no great importance"—and each got $100. Then, when Bond's went into bankruptcy in the early '70s, Newport Creamery snatched up the Awful Awful for $1,000.

Since 2009, Newport Creamery has offered "Awful Awful Mondays" during the summer months, when customers can "buy one, get one free." Perfect for date night!

The Middletown Newport Creamery is open Sunday through Thursday, 7am-10pm; Friday and Saturday, 7am-11pm.


Newport Life Magazine's Best of Newport County: Best Milkshake (2008)
Rhode Island Monthly's Best of Rhode Island: Best Ice Cream (1993-1997), Best Ice Cream When You Want to Feel Like a Kid (Ooey Gooey)(1995), All Stars.
Rhode Island Monthly's Readers' Poll: Best Ice Cream in the East Bay (1994), Best Ice Cream in South County (1994), Best Ice Cream in the Blackstone Valley (1994, 1995), Best Ice Cream in the West Bay (1994, 1995), Best Cabinet in the Blackstone Valley (1995), Best Cabinet in the East Bay (1995), Best Cabinet in the West Bay (1995), Best Ice Cream in Providence County (2001, 2002), Best Ice Cream in Newport County (2003).

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