A meal at a Howard Johnson was as soon as as a lot as a part of a highway journey because the automobile itself. Now, one of many final two remaining eating places is closing. 

The situation in Bangor, Maine, is shutting down subsequent month, leaving a single restaurant in Lake George, New York, to hold the once-iconic identify.

Whereas the restaurant as soon as served meals late into the night time, it had extra not too long ago began closing at 2 p.m. day by day. As enterprise dropped off, rumors of its closure began circulating, the Bangor Each day Information reported. 

Robert F. Bukaty/AP

Prospects dine on the Howard Johnson in Bangor. 

It’s bittersweet, but it’s nothing to be sad about,” waitress Kathe Jewett, who has labored on the restaurant because it opened in 1966, advised The Related Press. “I’ve been right here for 50 years ― and it’s time.”

The restaurant’s final day will probably be Sept. 6. 

Howard Johnson opened his first location, a “small, orange-roofed soda fountain” in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1925. Based on HoJoLand, an unofficial web site, Johnson opened a second location but couldn’t afford to expand further on his personal so he entered into franchise agreements. 

Portland Press Herald through Getty Pictures

Automobiles cross a Howard Johnson location in South Portland within the 1950s. This location, in-built 1938, closed in 1985.

By the tip of the 1930s, there have been greater than 100 places alongside the East Coast. There have been 400 HoJo by 1954, and that’s when the corporate began to open motels together with its eating places. 

Howard Johnson would develop into ubiquitous alongside highways, particularly toll roads. The corporate was a pioneer in opening places simply off exit ramps, based on Roadside Followers, an internet site devoted to diners and traditional chains. 

When the motorist spotted a Howard Johnson’s, he knew exactly what to expect,” the web site famous. “With standardized menus and constructing designs, a Howard Johnson’s miles away felt as acquainted and comforting because the one again residence.”

I C Rapoport through Getty Pictures

The HoJo in New York Metropolis’s Instances Sq. grew to become one of many firm’s most well-known places. It closed in 2005.

Howard Johnson would have greater than 1,000 places at its peak within the 1970s, with regulars having fun with the corporate’s well-known 28 flavors of ice cream and common meals, reminiscent of fried clam strips and pancakes. The corporate’s empire even included a line of frozen meals bought in supermarkets. 

Nonetheless, within the 1980s and 1990s, the corporate went by a collection of possession modifications and components of it have been cut up up. In the present day, there are lots of of HoJo inns operated by Wyndham, however simply two eating places bearing the identify ― every independently owned ― and in a few weeks, there will probably be only one. 

“I’m devastated,” Christopher Leek, who has been eating on the Bangor location since his childhood, advised AP. “It’s my favourite breakfast place. It’s a homey place.”

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