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Eric Paddon

Howard Johnson's Restaurants

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I just got the Daily News Sunday magazine for April 12, 1964 and on the back page is this full page spread touting all of the Howard Johnson's restaurants in the Greater NY area and tying their abundance to being "all around the Fair."

I found this ironic in that just a month ago, the last Howard Johnson's restaurant in New York, located in Times Square, closed its doors forever. That now means that there are only about five or six Howard Johnson's restaurants left in the entire USA.

The orange roof, which was such a familiar sight to roadside America from the 50s to the 70s, is an endangered species soon to be extinct!

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wow.. there used to be one right near where i lived... like in my town's center.... so strange that its gone

and that i never knew about that! crazy!

i just looked it up and where it used to be is a Joe's American Bar and Grille... i have been there before, very good food

ha i wont be able to pass by there again without thinking about this now hehe

EDIT: the one in Waterbury, CT is still there... i just checked.

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The one in Times Square was mismanaged for so long. They should have taken advantage of the nostalgia aspect of the place, instead it was rundown and tired.

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Agreed. I went there in May after the closing announcement had been made, and the menus were torn and they weren't even offering a lot of the stuff on it any longer. I was glad I ate there once to say I did, but it was a place that had seen better days.

Yes, the Waterbury, CT one is one of the five remaining ones in the country. There's another at the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ.

This site shows how there are quite a few Hojo buffs out there!

[url:6690b]http://hojoland.homestead.com[/url:6690b]

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I know where there's still one-

it's a full Hojo hotel/restaurant that's right down the street from the Crowne Plaza where I usually stay when I go on business trips to St. Louis. It's on Lindberg, near the airport.

Whenever I try to tune in my wireless laptop to pick up the hotel signal to use the internet, I find that the Hojo wireless signal down the street is a lot stronger than the hotel I'm staying in!

I haven't eaten in that Hojo restaurant though- so I can't attest to the quality of their offerings.

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There are still quite a few Howard Johnson's hotels but the hotel chain was split off from the restaurant chain a couple decades ago during a series of corporate takeovers and sell-offs, and are now considered separate entities altogether. These five remaining restaurants are the only ones that are in effect part of the original Howard Johnson's restaurant chain. A restaurant inside a current Howard Johnson's hotel would not be offering the menu fare of classic Hojos.

The other remaining three, in addition to Waterbury, CT and Asbury Park, NJ are in Lake Placid, NY, Lake George, NY and Bangor, ME.

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I'm glad to hear the Lake George one is there. My grandfather made regular pilgrammages there on our vacations upsate, and every time I am in the area I have stopped by to maintain the tradition. Nice to know I still can!

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Another Hojo fansite has some pix of that particular one in Lake George (as well as all other surviving ones). Very picturesque setting!

LakeGeorge11.JPG

And here's a postcard of how it looked in the 50s.

LakeGeorge1.JPG

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Yes, the Waterbury, CT one is one of the five remaining ones in the country.    There's another at the boardwalk in Asbury Park, NJ.

http://hojoland.homestead.com/

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Tony Bourdain visited (and ate at) the Asbury Park HoJo in a recent episode of his new show ("No Reservations") on the travel channel. It was awful. If they're going to be like this, it would be better if the remaining ones were closed down.

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That's more indicative of Asbury Park in general. Their old "Casino" on the Boardwalk has been abandoned and rotting for nearly 20 years now and there's also an eyesore of an unfinished building project that ran out of money years ago and they can't afford to tear it down either.

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They just imploded a Howard Johnsons a week ago here in Miami.

Will try and find the link to the video and post it here

Regards,Dave

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Interesting. The chart lists 3 HoJos within a block of each other on Broadway.

As I mentioned, I have the McCloud DVDs, and they spend a lot of time racing thru Times Square. So I've been stepping thru these scenes, looking for landmarks. Howard Johnson seemed to appear too frequently; now I know why.

BTW, they also spend a lot of time on Fifth and Park Avenues. Could it be because they're so scenic?

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I'll be keeping my eye peeled for those multiple Hojos as I make my way through the set!

If they do end up releasing subsequent seasons, one other thing to look for as the years go by is the construction progress on the World Trade Center in shots of downtown Manhattan. In these first season episodes from 1970-71, they use a shot of downtown (clearly a stock shot from a widescreen movie since it has a "squeezed" look to it) that doesn't indicate signs of construction yet. I recall a later episode within a couple years where the action takes place on the Staten Island Ferry and you can see the WTC nearly complete by then.

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<!--quoteo--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE</div><div class='quotemain'><!--quotec-->If they do end up releasing subsequent seasons, one other thing to look for as the years go by is the construction progress on the World Trade Center in shots of downtown Manhattan. In these first season episodes from 1970-71, they use a shot of downtown (clearly a stock shot from a widescreen movie since it has a "squeezed" look to it) that doesn't indicate signs of construction yet. I recall a later episode within a couple years where the action takes place on the Staten Island Ferry and you can see the WTC nearly complete by then.<!--QuoteEnd--></div><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Funny you should mention that.....

The episode I'm watching now, "Somebody's Out To Get Jennie", 1971, has a fabulous shot of WTC from Battery Park. South tower is completely skinned, north tower about half way. Spooky.

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The Lake George HoJo's seems quite "healthy"!

It's always busy during the summer... don't know about the winter.

Busses go there for the breakfast buffet or brunch.

You can't get near the place on weekend mornings.

I, too, frequent the place just because I know there will be a time in the near future when the opportunity to sit at those stools is no more. It really is a trip back in time for me because it is no different than it was in the 1960s!

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I think you're right, because from what I've been reading, the reasons why all of these few remaining HoJos are disappearing is not so much because all of them are doing bad from a business standpoint but because the corporate owner of the HoJo restaurant trademark, Franchise Associates, basically doesn't care about the HoJo historical legacy. The sole HoJo in Vermont closed in May because its lease with Franchise (which gave it the right to keep being a HoJo and serve the HoJo menu) expired and they refused to renew it for them.

I hope the remaining ones (excluding Asbury Park) manage to keep going, because for me, a HoJo's represents as much a part of Roadside America history as the establishments along old Route 66 did. The drives down I-95 from New Jersey to Disney World I took as a child in the 70s were always filled with HoJo signs, and were just one way of being able to pass the time by figuring out how many miles had passed the next time you saw an orange roof!

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You never know HoJo and the automat could make a comeback.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I always found the HOJO's in the late 70's early 80's on the hwy to have gross food...ah nostalgia!!

I live near Nashua,NH and would go to the HOJO's off rt3 frequently, because I knwe it would be a matter of time. I took lots of pictures of it...Doug Seed out in Salem NH probably knows the one I'm talking about.

By the way, it was demolished and is now a Audi,Porshe (sic) dealership.

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There may be people who will always sing the praises of the Hojo fried clams and other menu items, but I defy any one to ever say a kind word about Hojo Cola, probably the worst tasting soft drink ever served in a major restaurant chain.

I realized today that the location of a former restaurant on the map in the first post (Livingston, NJ) is the same as an upscale Italian restaurant I've gone to a number of times. Certainly a more appropriate fate than becoming an Audi dealership!

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In cans it could only have been worse! But then again, I could feel some empathy for the rare person who might have searched high and low to buy some, since I'm a notorious addict of the increasingly hard-to-find Tab Cola (I ended up buying 20 six packs of the stuff just today to replenish my stock!)

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What's up, Whatsup?

Welcome to PTU!

Nice to have another Cowhampshire-ite on the board.

Been to Canobie Lake Park to see the World's Fair Luminaires?

Are you referring to the HoJos on DW Highway or the one out on Rt. 3 right next to the highway?

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