I've often heard children say, "There's nothing to do today". I beg to differ. I'd like to inspire you to do something. Anything. Read. Bake. Hike. Fish. Plant. Sail. Climb. Play. Reach. Move. Laugh. Dream; and take time to sit with me on The Old Granite Step.

Friday, September 4, 2015

The last remaining Howard Johnson's Restaurant - Lake George, New York

I grew up next to a town that had a Howard Johnson's or Ho Jo's as we affectionately called it.  We often stopped at the Howard Johnson's Restaurant in Providence on the way home from school or the one in Mystic when visiting the seaport. Howard Johnson's was a staple in the 60's and 70's.  My college room mate worked at the Howard Johnson's Restaurant on Boylston Street in Boston.  A long counter and lights that hung from the ceiling.  That building was demolished long ago.  Now we see the end of an era....the last remaining Howard Johnson's Restaurant is in Lake George, New York.  This sign looks rather temporary in my opinion, in contrast to the big bold signs of the 60's.
I once heard that the Ho Jo's weather vane was Simple Simon.  Remember the children's lyric "Simple Simon met a pieman...."?  Regardless, this weather vane is classic!
Well it says Howard Johnson's....
It looks like Howard Johnson's.....
Sadly, it doesn't taste like Howard Johnson's.

Although the term mid century modern wasn't coined until recently, these buildings with their orange roofs and blue spires certainly fit the bill.
A large bank of windows is reminiscent of Howard Johnson's Restaurant....
....but the macaroni and cheese is not.  Different noodles, no crunch on top; not even close.  AND at over fifteen dollars on the dinner menu; not really worth it.  As a college student in the 70's, the macaroni and cheese or fried clam strips were affordable.
The burger and onion rings were just OK.
Original plates?  Perhaps.
Although we found they were selling these bowls for $40!  I wasn't sure if it was for all four or for each bowl!  What a shame.  If you're selling yourself as a Howard Johnson's Restaurant, wouldn't you use all of the retro dishes everyone is expecting?  Those are orange t-shirts to the left.  At $25 a piece; a bit pricey.  You'd at least expect the waitresses to be wearing them instead of the tank tops they were donning.
Frankly, this was the best part of the experience.  The map is quite old and has more than likely been hanging on the wall for many years.  Reminiscent of maps from our school days; long before GPS!

There's still a small counter.  Do you remember the mints you could purchase at the register? 
So if it says Howard Johnson's, does that mean it is Howard Johnson's?  I'll leave that answer up to you!

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