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Howard Johnson New York - Howard Johnson's in New York - Howard Johnson New York

Hotels and Restaurants in New York

restaurants restaurant company johnson’s

In 1925, Howard Deering Johnson opened a small drugstore in Quincy, Massachusetts. After seeing the success of his soda fountain at the drug store, Johnson introduced a new recipe for ice cream. Johnson’s ice cream became more and more popular in New England, and he opened his first Howard Johnson’s restaurant in Quincy. After managing to keep his business afloat through the early years of the Great Depression, Johnson began opening franchised restaurants throughout New England. By 1936, 41 Howard Johnson’s restaurants were open on the eastern seaboard. Although many of these closed during World War II, a revitalization after the war lead to over 400 new restaurants throughout the east, midwestern, and southern parts of the United States by the mid 1950s. The company became known for its “28 flavors” of ice cream. In 1954, the company opened its first motor lodge, and there are now about 475 “HoJos,” as the hotel chain is sometimes known, around the world. The number of restaurants, however, has declined sharply since its peak of over 1,000 franchises in the 1970s. In 1985, Marriott hotels bought the Howard Johnson company and soon after closed all of the company owned restaurants or turned them into other restaurants. Without advertising and other support from the company, it was less and less profitable for franchise owners to stay in business. Although the Cendant corporation announced plans to revitalize the restaurant chain after it acquired the former Howard Johnson motor lodges, this plan never gained momentum. One new Howard Johnson restaurant opened in Canton, Massachusetts in 2000, but it was closed by 2010.

Howard Johnson New York

One of the better known Howard Johnson restaurants in the country was the Howard Johnson restaurant in New York’s Times Square. This restaurant, which was located on the corner of 46th Street and Broadway, opened in 1959. Through the years the restaurant was well known maintaining the decor that Howard Johnson franchisee Morris Rubenstein had first installed in the restaurant. Although the interior became run down and out of step with the resurgence of Times Square in the 2000s as a family friendly destination, its doors remained open until July 2005. Although it was once considered to be added to the city’s register of historic places, the doors eventually closed, and a large American Eagle store has been at the site of the former Howard Johnson’s restaurant since 2007. The closing of this restaurant is emblematic of closing of most Howard Johnson restaurants. As of August 2010, only three franchise-owned Howard Johnson restaurants remain open in the United States. These are found in Lake George, New York, Lake Placid, New York, and Bangor, Maine. Also, the Lake Placid location went up for sale in July 2010, leaving its future in doubt. With no new franchises opening and little national recognition, it is more than likely only a matter of time before both of the two New York restaurants and the Maine Howard Johnson will also close their doors.

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