TBT: There Are Only 2 Howard Johnson’s Restaurants Remaining
My first meal in New Hampshire was at the Howard Johnson's in Dover, at the site where Burger King now sits.
Howard Johnson's resturants are meaningless to anyone born in the last 20 years, but for baby boomers, they bring back a lot of memories. It wasn't that long ago you could see the orange roof at the Portsmouth traffic circle.
Bangor, Me., and Lake Charles, NY., are home to the last 2 Howard Johnson restaurants. And both, sadly, are on their last legs without new owners.
In 1925, Howard D. Johnson started with a soda fountain restaurant in Quincy, Massachusettes, and by the 1970's, there were over 1,000 Howard Johnson restaurants, or 'HoJo's' as they were called.
The orange roofed HoJo's seemed to be at every rest stop not only on New England highways, but all over the country. You could find a warm meal, and perhaps stay the night if you happened to pull into one of their motor lodges.
Our family was no stranger to the HoJo's lodges between the New England, Detroit, Virginia triangle we traveled for a few years.
The fall of Howard Johnson's and their 28 flavors of ice cream was helped by the growth of the fast food industry in the 70's and 80's.
And then there were 2.