HO JO’S IS NO MORE, WITH THE LAST HOWARD JOHNSON’S RESTAURANT OFFICIALLY CLOSED
This news actually makes me a little sad. Howard Johnson’s restaurants have been around for 70 years. So yes, we’re talking people started eating pancakes in bulk starting way back in the 1950’s. That was supposedly an idyllic time in the US, at least marketing wise. We were just a few years away from the end of the Good War (WWII for you youngsters), and anything American as apple pie reigned supreme. Everyone knows Ho Jo’s! But clearly, not everyone has been eating at Ho Jo’s for some time. And now, the very last restaurant by that name is now closed for good.
HO JO’S SERVED CLASSIC AMERICANA DINER FARE, FOOD COMA FOR 70 AMAZING YEARS
And I’m kind of sad to have missed out on the nostalgia trip. Because the last Howard Johnson’s was in Lake George, New York. I passed thru there just a few months ago, and I can’t even remember seeing it. I certainly don’t remember wanting to stop in for a major food coma investment. To be fair, it’s probably been at least 20 years since I’ve been to one. And while the pandemic brain definitely changes my perceptions of time these days, I always kind of assumed that Ho Jo’s would always be around. So in terms of nostalgia, big mistake; huge! This piece of forgotten American cultural fabric isn’t just in tatters. It’s gone.
50-60 YEARS AGO, HO JO’S WAS ONE OF THE LARGEST CHAINS, WITH 1,000 LOCATIONS
Back in the 1960’s and 70’s, Howard Johnson’s had around 1,000 restaurants nationwide. And yes, at the time that made it one of the largest in America. As soon as you saw the orange roof, you knew what you could find inside! Food and lots of it. And ice cream? They served 28 different flavors. But that was back when that was more than a casual novelty. McDonald’s and Burger King outperformed them to an absolute degree, both in terms of efficiency and their supply chains. Now, Ho Jo’s is but another memory of an America we’ve all but forgotten.