We asked readers on Boston.com for their Howard Johnson’s memories and they responded. A few of the best quotes follow:
There was nothing better than fudge cake and vanilla ice cream with fudge sauce
You were all dressed up to have a dinner of fried clams, French fries, and cole slaw plus a choice of 28 flavors!! How good does it get. Dick, age 71
My grandmother managed a HoJo’s restaurant in York, PA. They sent new managers to train with her. I have never known anybody who was a harder worker, or stronger advocate of customer satisfaction as she was. She taught her staff how to be excellent, and she expected it of them in return. I’m pretty sure that my life long love of the Reuben sandwich started in her restaurant.
I remember HoJo’s all-you-can-eat specials, especially fried clams on Friday’s (no meat, of course!).
Growing up on Long Island, the HoJo’s were at the rest areas on the expressway. A favorite Friday night date with Mom was two exits up for a couple of seats at the counter for fried clams and a scoop of buttercrunch ice cream.
I remember those long weekend drives home from the Cape. We’d stop at the HoJo’s at the Bourne rotary and get enough orders of hot dogs, french fries and onion rings to feed six of us during the ride back to Boston. Always a great meal and always a special part of the adventure.
I worked at the one on Rt. 128 in Newton during high school. I worked mostly at the counter but sometimes in the restaurant as a “Fish Fry/Clam Fry” girl. I hated when customers got mad at the prices (a hot dog was $1.33, which was insane back in the late 70s).
Growning up on Nantucket, I remember when dad would come home from a trip he would bring us the lollypops from Howard Johnson’s. They were milk chocolate with the white chocolate that had a picture on it. They were great!
Friday nights in the late 50’s and early 60’s at HoJo’s in Coolidge Corner or on Rte. 9 in Chestnut hill. A 3D followed by a piece of fudge cake with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge. A great meeting place with a date after a movie.
I remember one New Year’s Night driving around with my friends and being hungry (this was around 1982), and the only place open around the North Shore that we could find, was the Howard Johnson’s on Route 128 in Beverly.Doug Most can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Globedougmost