Skip to comments.The last Howard Johnson’s restaurant is for sale - How HoJo lost its mojo
Posted on 02/16/2017 8:07:30 AM PST by 11th_VA
DOES HoJo still serve fried clams? asked a Howard Johnsons patron, using the nickname for the restaurant chain. He recently ate there for the first time in nearly 40 years. Back then, HoJo could be found on almost every highway and byway and felt as ubiquitous as McDonalds or Starbucks are today. At its height in the 1970s, Howard Johnsons had more than 1,000 restaurants and was the biggest food chain in America. Only the army fed more people. Now, only one is left. The last one standing is in Lake George, a summer tourist spot in New Yorks Adirondacks.
Howard Deering Johnson, the chains founder, started his food empire in 1925 with an ice-cream shop outside Boston. He was an early pioneer of franchising. At one point in the 1960s, a new restaurant opened every nine days. Growth coincided with the rise of the car, the highway system, the middle class and family holidays. Each franchise had to adhere to the Howard Johnsons Bible, which dictated everything from decor to the amount of tartare sauce; and each had to use food prepared by central commissaries, which was delivered to the restaurants for final cooking. The large menu included 28 ice-cream flavours, tender sweet Ipswich fried clams and butter-grilled frankforts...
(Excerpt) Read more at economist.com ...
Remember Stucky’s? Loved those places too.
You can probably buy fried clams as good as I used to buy at Howard Johnson’s. When I find out where I can buy them I’ll let everybody know.
Loved the beans and franks....
I think they started going downhill when Consumer Reports(?) showed on National TV that HoJo’s was cheating their customers with a ‘Large’ soft drink and ‘Small’ soft drink having the same amount, but served in different glasses that made it appear one was larger than the other................
Yes, indeed. Breakfast with Simple Simon.
They're still in business, btw.
Is that Blazing Saddles?
back when I was a young business traveler, I would go in there on all-you-can-eat fried clam night. If I eat that much fried food now, I am up all night — aging ain’t always fun.
By the mid-seventies there was nobody insuring that bathrooms were kept clean across the chain.
My memories growing up were that whether you were in Little Rock or Denver, the food would be merely okay and the men’s room would be filthy.
The chain lacked uniform quality control.
I used to get pecan logs at Stuckeys.
I think Howard Johnson was done when they started using HoJo. Sounded like an inner city hang out for whores.
The last time I ate at Howard Johnsons, I got the fried clams.
I was sick for 3 days.
I loved HOJO’s fried clams when I was a kid. Every rode trip we ever took included at least one stop at a HOJO’s.
Love the nostalgia! Those prices are a hoot.
As a kid, we’d help my friend’s older brother deliver his Sunday newspapers (he was 18, we were 11 and I learned later, he’d be hungover from partying the night before) , and he’d take us for pancakes at HoJo’s
They never served fried clams. Clam strips, which almost sacrilege. The bellies are what make the fried clam a fried clam.
GFS stores have the clams you are looking for.
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