Saturday, July 20, 2013

He Made HoJo's a Cultural Icon-- Part 1

From the December 19, 2012, Chicago Tribune by Bill Daley.

"Howard Johnson built a coast-to-coast network of eponymous restaurants and motel franchises that fed the wanderlust of mid-20th-century North America.

In so doing, he transformed Howard Johnson's into a cultural phenomenon known to millions for its signature orange roofs, 'tender-sweet fried clams and 28 flavors of ice cream.

'Every chain restaurant you see today is a direct result of Howard Johnson,' said Mike Butler, who is manager and part-owner of the Howard Johnson's in Lake Placid, NY, one of the last two HoJo's restaurants in existence.

'He was a man ahead of his time.  He was the first to have turnpike restaurants, and the roofs were orange so travelers could see them a mile away.  He was the first with kids' menus and games, and the first to package his most famous items for retail.  ...Any franchise restaurant has something Howard Johnson pioneered.'"

As good of an introduction to the man and his places as you can get.

I definitely remember those orange roofs, but Dad would never stop, saying the food was too expensive, nor would we stay at one of his motels.

Plenty More to Come.  --RoadDog

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