Remember HoJo’s?

Besides my obsession with diners, I have a soft spot for the former “Landmark for Hungry Americans”, Howard Johnson’s Restaurants. Currently there are only 3 restaurants operating under this name and one of them is only open in the summer.  There is one in Bangor, Maine and two in upstate New York, Lake Placid and Lake George (this one is seasonal). I have photographed a handful of these places over the years and even have some memorabilia.

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I just got a new “old” post card into my collection. It is a great view of the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant once located in Williamstown, Mass. This is actually one I have passed too many times to mention. My buddy John Baeder did a wonderful oil painting of this a number of years ago. I recall for a time in the 1980’s it may actually have been operated as another restaurant briefly but came back to being a HoJo’s in the 1990’s. My wife Denise and I actually had a meal (or snack) there on the way back from upstate New York during this later period.

As in most cases this location eventually closed and was repurposed. It was transformed into a bank without sacrificing its colonial styling. In fact the postcard reveals what the original entance looked like prior to a later updating. Ironically, the people who did the transformation into the bank did their homework and imitated the original design of the entry, not at the entry but to either side of it. They created bow windows with railings on the top that are fairly close to what the entry use to look like.

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Three great fan websites for HoJo’s are http://www.hojoland.com/hojosnyc.html  and http://www.highwayhost.org/Orangeroof/index.html as well as http://www.slamtrak.com/hojo2003/