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One of last Howard Johnson’s sold, ending 57-year run

This Howard Johnson’s in Greenfield, with its signature orange roof, closed in 2002.Nancy Palmieri for The Boston Globe

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — One of the three remaining Howard Johnson’s restaurants still in business has been sold and will close after a nearly 60-year run in a New York village.

Mike Butler, owner of the HoJo’s in Lake Placid, says his family-run eatery was purchased by local restaurant owners who plan to move their business to the property after the Howard Johnson’s closes March 31.

Butler’s father, Ron, opened the restaurant with the chain’s signature orange roof 58 years ago.

The chain was launched by the original Howard Johnson as an ice cream stand at Wollaston Beach in Quincy in the 1920s. At its peak, there were more than 1,000 restaurants and 500 motor lodges in 42 states and Canada.


Two are still operating. One is attached to a hotel in Bangor, Maine, and the other is in Lake George, a tourist destination 60 miles south of Lake Placid. The Lake George HoJo’s reopened in January after being closed for three years.