Howard Johnson's (page 1)

(hit "refresh" to get the most recent version of this page; click on photos for larger images)

The Howard Johnson's restaurant and hotel chain started out in Massachusetts in 1925 with a roadside ice cream stand. It grew into a restaurant and, by 1935, there were 25 Howard Johnson's ice cream and sandwich stands in MA. Expansion continued down the Atlantic Coast all the way to Florida. By the late 1930s, there were more than 100 locations. In 1954, Howard Johnson's opened its first Motor Lodge in Savannah, GA. By the late 1970s, there were over 1,000 restaurants and more than 500 motor lodges. In the mid-1980s, the company dropped the "apostrophe-s" and became Howard Johnson. Howard Johnson decided to focus on its more profitable hotel business and gradually began phasing out its restaurants. The last location still operating was in Lake George, NY. Many of these former Howard Johnson restaurants and motor lodges have been adapted by other businesses. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

The locations below and on the next pages are organized alphabetically by state. Although this section is part of the Eateries section, the Howard Johnson's hotel buildings and signs are also included here.

former Howard Johnson's
Hot Springs, AR
This former Howard Johnson's was built around 1962 and closed in 1976. The hotel housed a Best Western and a Knights Inn after that. It is now a Red Carpet Inn. The restaurant was gutted and used as a golf shop and also a pet grooming/boarding business. It appeared to be vacant when these photos were taken in 2019. For more, see this website. [map]

More Arkansas:
Texarkana [map]

former Howard Johnson's
Anaheim, CA
This Howard Johnson's has housed the Kettle Motor Hotel since at least 2008. [map]

former Howard Johnson's
Baldwin Park, CA
This Howard Johnson's restaurant opened in 1965. The Motor Lodge opened in 1967. It closed in 1995. By 2004, the Motor Lodge had become a Regency Inn & Suites. In 2012, this Motor Lodge was featured in an episode of the "Mad Men" television show. The restaurant building had been vacant since at least 2004. It was demolished in 2015 or 2016. The gate house building was still in use by Regency Inn. In 2017, the motel was closed and the property was closed off behind fencing after a fire. I don't know if the building will be remodeled or demolished. It was still there in 2022 and the fencing was still up. For more, see this website. [map]

former Howard Johnson's
Redwood City, CA
Howard Johnson's
San Jose, CA
This Howard Johnson's in Redwood City opened in 1968 and operated until 1994. The hotel is now a Good Nite Inn. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Howard Johnson's location in San Jose was built in 1968. This steeple and Simple Simon and the Lamplighter weathervane sign were installed on the Motor Lodge in 1969. They were removed in 1997 when the gate lodge building was demolished. They were preserved and installed in the interior courtyard of this Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites.

former Howard Johnson's
San Luis Obispo, CA
This Howard Johnson's was built in 1969. Since the early 2000s, the motel has housed the Rose Garden Inn and the restaurant housed Margie's Diner. In 2019, the restaurant began housing Taco Temple. For more, see this website. [map]

former Howard Johnson's [gone]
Milford, CT
former Howard Johnson's
Stratford, CT
The Howard Johnson's motor lodge in Milford was built in 1959. An adjacent existing restaurant was remodeled shortly thereafter to include the trademark orange roof and other features. The restaurant closed in 1999 and was remodeled again as a Friendly's. This gate lodge was an earlier design than those shown above. The motor lodge was condemned due to asbestos contamination and was abandoned for many years. It was demolished along with the motel rooms in 2013. There is a modern Howard Johnson Hotel located at the front of the property now. For more, see this website.

The Howard Johnson's in Stratford opened in 1966. The motor lodge building is now used by the Honeyspot Motor Lodge. For more, see this website. [map]

former Howard Johnson's [gone]
Waterbury, CT


This location had the last operating Howard Johnson's restaurant in Connecticut. The restaurant opened in 1957 while the motor lodge opened in the early 1960s. Both structures were covered with wood panels and painted in earth tones in the 1970s. In 2007, the management was notified that it could no longer use the Howard Johnson name and had to remove all traces of its association with the chain. The motor lodge was remodeled at that point and is no longer recognizable. The restaurant last housed the Brass House Restaurant. The orange roof tiles were gone by 2016. The building was demolished in 2021. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2.

More Connecticut:

Howard Johnson's
(page 2)
Howard Johnson's
(page 3)
Howard Johnson's
(page 4)
Howard Johnson's
(page 5)
Howard Johnson's
(page 6)

Eateries Main Page