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HoJo Nostalgia


Kirby
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We've had a couple threads recently about memories of trips to Howard Johnson's from years ago.  Today the Wall Street Journal had an article about some die hard HoJo fans, including one who wants to bring back at least one restaurant (but doesn't seem to have a real plan yet).

Not sure if the link hits a pay wall, but here is a taste of the article:

Quote

Some road trippers tally visits to baseball stadiums or national parks. Bonnie Corso has spent the last five years traveling all over the East Coast buying up old items and equipment from closing Howard Johnson’s restaurants, a slice of Americana affectionately known as HoJo’s.

She has two sets of mirrors and the stainless-steel ice cream bar from a HoJo’s in Niagara Falls, a booth and bartop from Bangor, and even a ’70s-era uniform. She scored a weather vane—a silhouette of Simple Simon meeting the Pieman—from a location in New Jersey

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Walter Mann, a former broadcaster who operates HoJoLand.com, a hub for all things HoJo’s—its slogan is “Long live the ‘Orange Roof!’ ”—is skeptical the brand can be brought alive without a significant infusion of capital. He’s hopeful all the same.

“What we need,” he says, “is an Orange Knight to come forward and rescue this dying icon.”

Quote

HoJo’s devotees pine for more than comfort food plopped into grilled and buttered buns. To them, the restaurant represents a simpler time in America and evokes memories of road trips to visit grandparents or the beach.

 

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57 minutes ago, Wilbur said:

I never experienced one.  :(   And I pride myself on indulging in US culture. 

Probably why there aren't many left? Folks don't go to them? I think I was at the end of that era - the 80s might have been where they started dropping as others rose?  

I might have eaten at one as a kid, but never stayed at one. I do remember them being seemingly everywhere on a road trip, but maybe that was just because they were so obvious and easy to spot?  

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Per the article, there were more than 1,000 restaurants and 500 motels (the largest chain in America)  at one point.. Now the last one has closed.

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6 hours ago, Philander Seabury said:

There is or at least was as of a few years ago an old one at the back of a hotel parking lot off exit 5 of the Jersey turnpike. It is very cool. And the one outside of Newark, DE was active a few decades ago, but sounds like it is gone now.

The Delaware one is gone. 

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