Ever eat at a Howard Johnson’s restaurant? It used to be that the orange roof with a spire on top was a landmark for travelers in search of reasonably priced, reliably edible food as they toured the country by car.
From more than a thousand outlets in its heyday, HoJo’s is now down to three restaurants, nationwide- two of them here in Upstate New York- after one in Waterbury, Connecticut lost its franchise this week.
The Brass House Restaurant has a new sign and the 20 employees have new black and burgundy uniforms, but the roof is still orange and the menu items are still mainly the same.
(The owners) were ordered to stop using the brand name, leaving Bangor, Maine, and Lake Placid and Lake George, N.Y., as the only towns that still have Howard Johnson’s restaurants.
The restaurant company is hoping to rebuild, starting with the upcoming launch of a new ice cream brand in New York City and Puerto Rico. Founder Howard Johnson (yes, he was a real person) built his business on inventing, promoting and serving 28 flavors of ice cream- a fact proudly announced by a sign on every one of his restaurants.