(Photo: Geralyn Shukwit)
Photo: Geralyn Shukwit
Copyright, 2005. HoJoLand.com
Copyright, 2005. HoJoLand.com
Copyright, 2005. HoJoLand.com
Copyright, 2005. HoJoLand.com
HoJoLand Stories 2
Fading Orange: Cape Cod, MA HoJo Ice Cream Shop Closes
(South Yarmouth, MA) HoJoLand has confirmed that the Cape Cod "Candy Company" Howard Johnson's Ice Cream Shop has closed.  In fact, says a HoJoLand reporter, the shop has been closed for over a year.  A spokesman reached at the Candy Company, says it was "...the best ice cream in the world."  The spokesman says the shop was busy, but attributed the ice cream shop's closing to the difficulty in finding employees to operate the shop. The shop was operated in a small, separate retail space that is part of the Candy Company Plaza, which is a popular, seasonal attraction, known for its delicious selection of candy, that serves vacationers during the summer months.  The ice cream shop was owned by the Candy Company owners, and was primarily manned by teenagers working during the summer, and providing original Howard Johnson's Ice Cream.  A Candy Company spokesman says their candy operation will take over the space once occupied by the ice cream shop.
Spotlight on Maryland HoJo's Restaurant
By Rush Wickes
Special To HoJoLand.com
(Millington, MD)
With the Waterbury, CT HoJo Restaurant doing so well, there's more good news from Millington, Maryland.  Howard Johnson's Restaurant & Craft Shop (more on that later) near U.S. 301 is thriving, with many loyal customers enjoying tasty HJ food and ice cream.

This Maryland HJ Restaurant featured a Craft Shop!
 (Photo: Rush Wickes)
In addition to traditional HJ signature food items, various sea food items prove very popular on "special seafood nights."  Buffet specials also compliment the menu in Millington.  The restaurant, which is kept very clean inside, has about twelve booths, as well as approximately eight counter seats.  This HJ restaurant also features a skylight over the dining area, which adds a nice touch to this pleasant atmosphere. In addition to the loyal customers, this unit attracts a lot of boater traffic (as nearby US 301 runs down to the Bay), which sustains operations.  Unique about this location is the "craft shop," adding a nice touch with many different craft items for sale. Adding a craft shop demonstrates thie owners' desire to "try something different" to insure success at this longtime HoJo location.
(Special thanks to Rush Wickes for photos and story)

Above Photos: Howard Johnson's Restaurant & Craft Shop-Millington, MD 
(Photos: Rush Wickes)
The Last "Howard Johnson's Restaurant" 
In Florida (Hollywood Beach) Closes
Is HoJo leaving Hollywood beach? 
Business Writer -- Doreen Hemlock Business Writer -- Bloomberg News
(July 8, 2002)
(Hollywood Beach, FL) BLOOMBERG NEWS
One of the last 13 original Howard Johnson's restaurants may have dished out its last meal three weeks ago. The Hollywood Beach eatery closed for remodeling and will reopen with the adjacent Howard Johnson Hotel as part of the Marriott Courtyard, but the restaurant may shed the Howard Johnson's name, said the hotel's general manager, Jay Greg. "The new owners will either lease it out or reopen it," Greg said.  An official with Schaumburg, Ill.-based Hostmark Hospitality Group confirmed the company has contracted to buy the property, but said it has not determined what will happen to the restaurant. Ownership will likely transfer to Hostmark within two months from the estate of Gus Boulis, founder of the Miami Subs franchise, who was killed last year.  "We haven't made any definitive plans," said Jerome Cataldo, vice president of development at Hostmark.  The chain started in Quincy, Mass., in 1925 and grew in tandem with the interstate highway system, becoming a common site along the American roadside. The franchises numbered about 1,000 by the 1970s, but started to vanish in the 1990s as the orange-roofed eatery failed to evolve with the times.  Howard Johnson's is credited for inventing fast-food staples such as standardized menus and decor. But now the chain is starting to look like small potatoes next to Chili's and Applebee's. Devoted patrons have cooked up the Web site "HoJoLand.com" to track the remaining restaurants.  Hungry fans in Florida must now trek to Kirkwood, Mo., for the diner's fried clams or frankfurters and fries.

Special Thanks to Bob Bessette for contributing this article.

Follow Waterbury's Lead:  How To Maintain
A Successful HoJo's Restaurant
(Waterbury, CT)  Ever wonder what could make a Howard Johnson's Restaurant successful in today's crowded restaurant market? Well, anyone looking to operate a successful HoJo's should look no further than the Waterbury, CT HoJo's...the last one in Connecticut.  The new owners, Nick &  Kristina Bakes, realized early on that the restaurant they purchased had value in continuing to use the HoJo's name.  Sure, they could've painted the roof blue, and converted to a traditional diner.  But the Bakes' realized the value they now owned. In other words, there was still value in the "Howard Johnson's Restaurant" name.  The Bakes started out by upgrading the quality of the food, kept the core HoJo food items, added some daily specials, and pledged to serve good food at affordable prices, something that would certainly appeal to the blue-collar city of Waterbury.  Marketing and image was the next step, they fixed the broken neon sign on the roof, and painted the interior of the restaurant,  and had pride in the grand old orange roof above. They ordered all-new waitress uniforms with the new FAI-version of the Howard Johnson's logo, and committed to advertising in local newspapers. All this paid off:  they received lots of press coverage for being the last HoJo's in Connecticut, with articles in major newspapers like the Hartford Courant and New Haven Advocate, as well as a front page cover story in the Waterbury Republican-American newspaper.  Articles also were featured in the Boston Globe, and television coverage on WFSB-TV in Hartford and NECN Cable News in Boston.  Recently, to show their pride in the U.S.A., the Bakes' featured a red, white & blue patriotic character (who we're told is a local man named Danny) waving to cars as they whizzed by.  These are some important ingredients in operating a successful HoJo's.  Other restaurant operators (especially HoJo's) should study Waterbury's winning formula for keeping the orange roof gleaming!
HoJo'er's Celebrate at Waterbury "HoJo Pow Wow"
(Waterbury, CT)  May 24th, 2002 was the date when approximately twenty "HoJo'er's"-those who have an affection for Howard Johnson's Restaurants-assembled at Nick & Krisitna Bakes' "Howard Johnson's Restaurant" in Waterbury, Connecticut.  Among those in attendance were Rich Kummerlowe, owner of the OrangeRoof.org web site, who flew in from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, John Boxmeyer, who drove nearly five hours from Bristol, Pennsylvania, Glenn Wells of the RoadsideFans.com drove two hours from Albany. New York, HoJoLand.com's own Walter Mann, and noted author Phil Langdon.  Everyone enjoyed an evening of great food and ice cream, and shared many memories and HoJo stories.  Special thanks go to owners Nick & Kristina Bakes for their hospitality, who pledge to carry on the HoJo tradition! .
Last Howard Johnson's Restaurant In Massachusetts 
(Greenfield) Closes
Copyright 2002. Associated Press, 5/25/2002 Greenfield Recorder
GREENFIELD, Mass. (AP) A Massachusetts legacy will disappear forever on Sunday when the last  Howard Johnson's restaurant in Massachusetts is slated to close. Workers at the Greenfield restaurant have known for months that they would be out of a job; they only found out last Wednesday when that would happen. Since staff found out in January that the restaurant was closing, they've had to squirrel away napkins, menus and other items that nostalgic patrons have been making off with. Coley Wall, the restaurant's manager, has had to watch her menus carefully to make sure patrons don't smuggle them out the door as a memento of the restaurant. ''I caught one going out the door,'' said waitress Kathy Fahey. ''He said 'I don't normally steal.'''  The closure ends a legacy in more ways than one. The chain, which became the prototype for roadside food, started in Massachusetts in 1925. Since the word of the closure spread, area residents have come by for a last meal. Lester  Reed of Greenfield was there last Sunday for breakfast for a final meal.  ''It was one of those mixed feelings,'' he told the Greenfield Recorder. Less than 20 Howard Johnson's are currently in operation, a small fraction of the 929 serving meals in 1975. The Greenfield HoJo's became the last in the state when the Canton restaurant closed in 2000. Howard Johnson's, founded by its namesake, Howard Dearing Johnson, as an ice cream shop in Quincy in 1925, helped invent the concept of franchising. It pioneered the standard menu and decor that are an essential element of the fast food industry. An Applebee's restaurant is slated to replace the Greenfield HoJo's. Applebee's, founded in Atlanta in 1988, now franchises and operates about 1,200 restaurants in 49 states. 

Howard Johnson's Restaurants Shown in Major Movie and TV Series
Next time you go to the video store, rent "Wonder Boys" starring Michael Douglas, Tobey Maguire and Robert Downey, Jr. (released in 2000).  There's a scene that lasts nearly five minutes that was shot at, and features, the Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Belle Vernon, Pennsylvania.  The restaurant, which has since been demolished, is shown in all its glory, with beautiful HOWARD JOHNSON'S in neon, and a bright orange roof with another neon HoJo sign, as well as the infamous HoJo Mirrors!  Great interior and exterior shots are featured.  Also, in a recent episode of HBO's "The Soprano's," (Season #1, Episode #13 "I Dream of Jeannie Cusamano,") look quickly and you'll see a giant billboard for the HoJo Times Square, New York location.  The billboard was actually above the restaurant!  HoJoLand visitor Bob Venditti writes in to tell us to check out Alfred Hitchcock's "Marnie" (1964) as Sean Connery and Tippi Hedrin stop for lunch at HoJo's!  (Thanks Bob!)  Keep your eyes out for the orange roofs!
This page is in no way connected to or represented in any way by Wyndham Worldwide, owner of the "Howard Johnson" brand.

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