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That’s it for Howard Johnson…


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HoJo's is now a sweet memory along with the Big Boy and Stuckey's road trip restaurants.

A few still exist, but the time of families in big station wagons stopping in for a family sit-down meal while on the way to Grandma's house is a bygone era.

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Howard Johnson's was not as big on the west coast...still sad to see them go. 

Susie, we still have a couple of Bob's Big Boys out our way if you ever get the chance...

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To be honest, the chain died a death decades ago. I was in Lake George a few years back for an Ohana tiki festival, and was compelled to check out that HoJo's just for nostalgia's sake--but truly, it was a HoJo's in name only, with nary a hint of the fried clams and super-rich ice cream of the glory days. It was musty as hell in there too.

Fortunately, the A&W stand down the road from there was an intact slice of retro resto heaven. 

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Ah, HoJo's.... another casualty from among the businesses that were all over the U.S. in the 20th century. Too bad they couldn't find a way to stay in business.

The same goes for retail giants like W.T. Grant, Montgomery Ward, Sear's, Woolworth's, G.C. Murphy, and others. The WalMart-ing of America really affected those types of retailers (most of which had diners or restaurants within). Any of them that managed to survive the WalMart assault were finished off by Amazon. Different world now....

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When we moved to Tehachapi in '81 there wasn't a chain store in sight. All mom-and-pop stores. Then, sometime in the 90's, a K-Mart opened. Ran all the small stores out of business. A few years back, a Walmart opened up and chased K-Mart out of town. Karma.

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