There Is No Cat

Groovy '60s Sounds from the Land of Smile!

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Howard Johnson's got his HoJo working

The Howard Johnson's restaurant in Times Square is apparently going to close down soon, according to an article in The New York Times. It's a shame, although it's been years since the food at any HoJo was considered edible. We had a HoJo in the town I grew up in. It closed about five years ago, when it was torn down and replaced by an Outback Steakhouse. Laura and I had lunch there during the last week they were open. The food was decent, about on a par with diner fare around here. That HoJo hadn't declined the way some have. There's another HoJo on the boardwalk in Asbury Park. We tried that once a few years ago. Big mistake. The food was so disgusting we couldn't finish our lunches. The HoJo in Asbury Park is quite distinctive, and clearly was a complete marvel in its heyday. The building is cylindrical-shaped, and quite striking. You can see glimmers of that in the building to this day, but they're getting fainter and fainter. Hopefully Asbury Park will come back to life enough to give the HoJo there a chance to revive itself.

There's another HoJo on Route 301 in Maryland on the Delmarva peninsula that I've stopped at a couple of times on my way back from the Washington/Baltimore area in the past few years. It's charming. The interior is all wood paneling and such. It feels like you're eating in someone's basement. The food was nothing to write home about, maybe low-end diner fare, not as bad as some but not as good as others.

If you want to try one of the remaining 11 Howard Johnson restaurants, there's a list available on HoJoLand, a site dedicated to preserving the memory of this once-great chain. It's sad to see what it's been reduced to.

Posted at 11:51 PM


Note: I’m tired of clearing the spam from my comments, so comments are no longer accepted.

I have found memories of the HoJo's nearby where I grew up in Chelmsford, MA.

The classic neon sign, seen from Rt. 495 was always an indication to me that I was home after a long family vacation. This sign was obviously put up before the town decided to pass snotty laws to prevent advertisements of that size.

Thanks for reminding me of a much simpler time...

Posted by Mary at 12:31 PM, February 19, 2003 [Link]


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