Saturday, April 30, 2005

A Letter to the Editor

It bums me out to see the final "real and untouched" Hojo's come to a close. When I found out about it's existence, my friend and I trekked from here in Glens Falls, NY over to Hojo's in Springfield. I went back three times after that. Then came the official news.

When I discovered Springfield's existence back in December, my friend and I set out on a mission to get to all the open restaurants knowing full well that we may not get a chance to ever again. We ate at Millington, Maryland 2 weeks before the auction date (nothing authentic on the menu, but good food nonetheless), went to Springfield again, and Lake Placid twice since then. In fact, I ate there Wednesday night and snapped some more pics. :)

I am fortunate to live only 7 miles from Lake George, but it's not the same. Even Lake Placid is less than 2 hours from here, and luckily boasts a couple of the original menu items, but still, it's not the real deal like Springfield is.

This weekend my friend and I are going to Times Square and Waterbury, and in June to Bangor and Bay City, Michigan. Hopefully Lake George won't go away by the time I get back.

I could have cared less about Howard Johnson's falling off the map, except for one thing reason -- it's demise totally caught me off-guard. It seems chains fold all the time, but this one was completely under the radar. When I finally saw it before my eyes, I couldn't believe it. That is why I am on a quest to see what's left, and more.

Thanks for mentioning it in your paper. I wish more people realized what is disappearing, because you don't know what you've got until it's gone.


Brian Florence

Glens Falls, NY


Blogger Steven Swain said...

Hello to from the webmaster of LOL

Brian, I remeber HoJo's but really never got into them as a destination either. They were around the area, but we never ate there. Now I wish I had because they're disappearing at a rapid rate.

I meant to eat at the Times Square location last time I was in NYC, but got lost and couldn't find it.

Get plenty of pictures, and use Hello! to get them online.

Please be sure to check out when you get a chance.

Sunday, May 15, 2005 7:31:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't even waste your time eating at the hojo times square! the food is absolutely awful and the place in horrendously dirty...a good indication is the filthy disgusting restrooms. yes it is sad that all of the orange roofed palaces we all remember are closing, but people these places went out of business a very long time ago, the fact that some remained open this long is merely a testament to the very poor business plan and operational skills of the franchisor.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005 5:01:00 PM  
Anonymous john gallo said...

this is to anonyomous it can be said that all failed busness did so because of a bad plan but it should also be said that the ho jos chain also did things right or thay would not have been around tell today. look times change people change some day mc donalds may be in the same spot ho jos is now. look at malls first thay were outside , then enclosed ,but all the nweones at least buy me are now outside agin with this trendy name of lifestyle center. thay will change to it all dose so dont be so hard on ho jos thay are just one more thing in the past. and is it not realy what dead malls is about the past and remembring it.

Saturday, June 18, 2005 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Bay City one closed early this year.:(

Saturday, June 18, 2005 5:51:00 PM  
Blogger JimBobGA said...

And I thought I was the one who planned vacations so that I could eat at some of the remaining HoJo's. There were still about 30 remaining, and I hit many of these from Massachusetts to Florida. I wish I could say that the warm fuzzies were still there, but they weren't. Seeing all the HoJo memorabilia in my den brings back better memories than the actual 'being there' does. My last visit was at St. Pete Beach, Fl, in 2002. It seemed that the management made no effort to conceal the fact that things weren't good. The entire soda fountain area was roped off and forgotten-looking, a freezer case had a broken window, and the servers seemed to have too many rules to follow [no substitutions, no refills on tea, etc.] Lunch in Front Royal, VA, was better, and I learned that the owner had pride in the place because he had been the owner since the start back in the fifties. It's just not going to be like that anymore, and I doubt a white knight will come to the rescue. I guess it's time to figure out who the next "lost cause" will be and start documenting their demise: Winn-Dixie? [no warm fuzzies there to start with]; K-Mart [too much of a joke to be taken seriously]; Wal-Mart [I wish].

Sunday, July 10, 2005 12:05:00 AM  
Blogger Anita said...

I guess it's time to figure out who the next "lost cause" will be and start documenting their demise:

I'm wondering what that day will be like when we all log into yahoo and read the news that Sears has declared bankruptcy and all their stores will close down.

I used to think that Waffle House was starting to be a Lost Cause, but I finally got the chance to eat in a nice one recently, so they all can't be crapholes.

Jim brought up Winn Dixie. I kinda sorta croniciled Winn Dixie the short time they were in the Hampton Roads area from 1997-2005. (I never took notes or anything, just "mental notes") I need to finish taking photos of the dead Winn Dixies in my parts soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 10:47:00 PM  
Blogger indycar said...

It's good of you to try to visit the last of the Howard Johnson's restaurants while they last. The Tines Square closing is a lot like the flagship of the fleet being scuttled.
Their decline is a long one; there used to be a lot of them and they held contracts with the N.J., Penn. and, I think, Ohio turnpikes.
Did anyone see the latest HoJo hotel tv ad. One of its lines is "From 28 flavors to 450 (I guess) locations." The nerve of the company that divorced their eateries. . . .
Try to keep abreast.

Thursday, July 21, 2005 7:05:00 PM  
Blogger Anita said...


I saw the new HoJo hotel ad too! [I see it on Food Network all the time] What a crock. What they don't tell you in the ad is 90% of their locations are for a lack of words ghetto motels, but they're not so bad that they are classified as "f**k n' sleeps" yet.

I will give mad props to the grapics on the ad, though. Even if its all lies.

Friday, July 22, 2005 8:08:00 PM  
Blogger ryanmary said...

Howard Johnson's is close to my much so that my wife and I dedicated our whole lower floor to the legacy. We have a pieman weathervane top, menus, blue an orange motifs, menus,ad posts and much much more. I spent the last days at HOJOS NYC in Time Square. I will forever miss the tradtions, the quality and legendary service. YES IT'S TRUE THAT HOJOS HAD A CONTRACT WITH THE GARDEN STATE PARKWAY,NEW JERSEY TURNPIKE,OHIO TURNPIKE,WEST VIRGINIA, NEW YORK STATE THRUWAY AND THE LEGENDARY PENNSYLVANIA TURNPIKE !

Saturday, July 30, 2005 10:14:00 AM  
Blogger John said...

HoJos started in the Boston Area with the first restaurant on Morrissey Boulevard in Dorchester. It is now a Burger King. The second one was a beach stand HoJos on Wollaston Beach in Quincy only a few miles from the firt one.
For many years it has been an excellent place owned by Greek immigrants called the Clam Box.
HoJo restaurants predate the motor lodges and at one time there was one at virtually every exit off Rte 128 around Boston. The last of these, at 128 and Rte 138 in Canton below Big Blue Hill (Indian name: Massachusetts) closed about 2-3 years ago. On the way home from my daughter's being born we stpped there in 1984.I took her there on her last birthday before it closed.
I went to the HoJo's in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley right before it closed and it had real HoJo food. But later I went way out of my way to go to the Millington, MD one and was very disappointed. they had the same crummy clams prevelent in MD everywhere else.

Monday, August 08, 2005 10:27:00 PM  
Anonymous scootermcb said...

A couple of notes-there are two "alive and well" HoJo's in Connecticut, in Waterbury and Southington. The one in Waterbury seems to be doing well.
HoJo's used to have a contractwith the State of Connecticut DOT for rest stop restaurants.

Sunday, September 25, 2005 5:24:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been trying to find ONE STINKING PHOTO of the old Hillside Mall in HIllside, Illinois, and I'm starting to give up. That place has a long, and sad history. I grew up in that mall, and to find some pics, or history would really be cool. The place was torn down, except for the old Carson's end is now something else, and there is a car dealership which suppsoedly occupies the anchor at the other end. Everything else is supposedly gone. I heard that the mall was closed mainly because of the gang violence around the area. My uncle used to have a shoe repair shop in there, and I actually have a picture of the inside, and outside of the shop. I'd sure love to read a history of the mall, & see some pics some day!

Monday, March 27, 2006 4:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Scott n Milwaukee said...

Your listings for Wisconsin is missing Southgate Mall in Milwaukee. Opened in sept. 1951 as a 105,000 sqr. ft strip mall, and a Gimble's added in later became the first enclosed mall in the Milwaukee area. At it's closing in 1998 it had 421,000 sqr. ft. The last of the Milwaukee Gimble's stores closed the in 1993 at the mall.

The mall was mostly demolished in 1999 and a new Wal-Mart Super center was built. A small part of the original mall is still there in the form of an out lot building...the Always 99 cent store and an adjoining shoe store.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007 10:01:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Wednesday, September 10, 2008 10:22:00 AM  
Blogger geologue said...

Oh man, this brings up memories of road trips my parents used to take us on, everybody roadworn, overtired and over-hungry by the time we settled on HoJo's. Food and atmosphere were mediocre to the core, but you at least knew what you were getting. We'd walk in all cranky and snapping at each other; we'd walk out feeling better and road-ready again. I can't say I mourn HoJo's passing, but I hate the way the past slips away like this.

Thursday, January 08, 2009 8:57:00 PM  
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