Iconic New York restaurant chain shuts down after 70 years

Kristen Walters

This iconic American restaurant once had over 1,000 locations throughout the US. However, last week, the last remaining restaurant located in New York closed its doors for good, marking the end of an era.

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At the height of Howard Johnson's popularity, the American restaurant and hotel chain had over 1,000 locations sprinkled throughout the United States, as well as numerous restaurants in New York.

Founded in 1925, Howard Johnson's was once a fixture of the American landscape. However, as of last week, there are no remaining Howard Johnson restaurants left in existence as the last remaining location in Lake Placid, New York, was forced to shut down due to financial reasons.

Now, it exists only in memories and in a few iconic buildings that have been repurposed as everything from restaurants to clinics.

For many Americans, the closure of the last Howard Johnson's restaurant marks the end of an era. Known for their fried clams and 28 flavors of ice cream, Howard Johnson's was a staple for travelers taking road trips.

However, the chain struggled to keep up with competition from McDonald's and other fast food outlets. Its decline was further hastened by its purchase by Marriott in 1985.

The Lake George Howard Johnson's location in New York is now closed, and the property is up for lease.

Nevertheless, Howard Johnson's will always be synonymous with roadside dining for many Americans. Indeed, memories of the brand will live on for those who grew up traveling on America's highways.

Do you have memories of dining or staying at a Howard Johnson?

Share your stories in the comments.

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