Howard Johnson restaurants used to be an institution. Surely, I am not the only one who remembers that there used to be many of these restaurants around?
My brother and I remember my grandparents taking us there when we were kids. It was a special treat, and we especially loved their ice cream (their dessert specialty, then and presumably now). Nice memories, although these were from years ago.
Man, have times changed!
At the peak of their success, there were over one thousand HoJo restaurants, right around 1975, the year after I was born. They were still a fairly large franchise (of restaurants) when I was a child, and when my grandparents used to take us there.
Now, there is only one left. From over a thousand, to one sole HoJo restaurant left standing. And if they have the kind of attendance that we saw while dining there, it might not be too long before there really are no HoJo restaurants left, unfortunately.
The thing is, the food was good, and I enjoyed the ambience. My son was particularly taken by this place, enjoying it immensely, and saying that he wished there was a Howard Johnson's restaurant near us, so we could go more frequently!
Not sure why this chain seemed to go downhill so quickly and thoroughly. It seems sad that a place with some character, and with good food and a distinct identity, would go downhill so dramatically, and so quickly.
Yet, these things do happen, I guess.
However, we were glad to eat there, at least once. And if it is still open the next time that we get around to Lake George, this is definitely the main place where I would look to eat a good and enjoyable mean, as well!