The Hojo’s Are Almost All Gone, But They May Be Back


Howard_JohnsonsOne of the last Howard Johnsons restaurants is closing its doors in Waterbury, Connecticut. That will leave only 3 of the original concept restaurants left. One of the first national chains, Howard Johnsons is a fixture in many of our childhood memories. Anyone remember their fried clams and the chocolate shake where if you were nice the waitress left the mixing cup with the extra. Now there are only 3 of the restaurants left, Bangor, Maine, and Lake Placid and Lake George, N.Y.

“Our company … is moving in a new direction for the Howard Johnson’s brand, and we felt the proprietors of the Waterbury property are not what we feel are good franchisees,” said David Kushner, president of La Mancha Group in New York, which owns the Howard Johnson’s brand for restaurants and food products. “Rather than have substandard operators, we decided to start fresh.”

From over 1,000 restaurants to 3. Amazing and sad.

Howard_Johnsons2But all is not lost. The new owners of the brand are planning a rebirth.

The company plans to debut a new Howard Johnson’s ice cream in April in the New York metropolitan area and Puerto Rico, then start selling it elsewhere. Once the ice cream is established, the company will start opening restaurants again, probably in mid-2008, Kushner said.

“What we wanted to do is make the brand stronger, getting into people’s minds, and then create the restaurant and ice cream shop concept and move forward that way,” Kushner said. via the Sun Journal

So, keep your fingers crossed and someday you might look at the new construction across town and try to explain to the kids what a HoJo’s is.

Posted January 20, 2007 by
Fun, Personal | 8 comments

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  • Comments

    8 Responses to “The Hojo’s Are Almost All Gone, But They May Be Back”

    1. joe bear on January 20th, 2007 10:09 pm

      I had a meal there in Bangor in 2005.I will miss the HOJO.

    2. just moma on January 21st, 2007 2:43 am

      How sad. As a teen we traveled and must have hit all the Howard Johnsons east and west along the highways, then turnpikes. Then I had graduated, was married, teaching school while my husband, then, was still at Purdue. We were sooo busy just surviving and the Pastor said we should go out more for it would help our marrage vs. all grading of papers and studying. So I’d get all dolled up after school on Friday and we go for all you could eat fried clams at the local Howard Johnsons on “big” Route 52. Then top it off with ice cream. That was all we could afford as newly marrieds; we’d save all week by taking lunch just to go out to Howard Johnsons for fried clams and ice cream. Then we’d go to Sears afterwards. Really had Sears memorized by then. My husband (now ex) went on to be a very good AF officer during Vietnam and I thank Howard Johnsons and Sears for some very good memories when we had no money but were in love. I’d love Howard Johson clams and their ice cream right now, again!

      So sorry

    3. BobG on January 21st, 2007 6:39 am

      I have great memories of fried clams and ice cream at Howard Johnsons. I hope they make it.

    4. Nut44x4 on January 21st, 2007 7:57 am

      I eat there quite often…food is great.

    5. Skyboxx on January 21st, 2007 9:52 am

      The split top hot dog bun toasted on both sides. That’s my memory of Hojo’s. Side of cole slaw…..cola, and later cherry coke, (coke with cherry liquid added and a real cherry)


    6. Scared Monkeys on January 21st, 2007 11:26 am

      I have actually eaten in the one’s in Bangor, Waterbury and Lake George, NY in the past.

      Fried clam strip dinners and hot fudge sundae.


    7. JustBearly on January 21st, 2007 3:32 pm

      Seemed every turnpike used to have HoJos resturants and motels. I Always did wonder about their demise. Someone needs to sart up a good pit stop franchise thats inviting for travelers.

    8. ldstlou on January 21st, 2007 4:40 pm

      is the forum down or is it just me?! :o (


      SM:   It’s fine for me??   Delete your cookies and try again.   (klaasend)

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