Friday, January 19, 2007

HoJo's Goes

Today's Republican-American reported that the Howard Johnson's restaurant in Waterbury is being forced to close and dismantle after 49 years. Apparently the brand owners will be launching new product lines in the next couple of years, and they don't like the way this franchise's owners run their business. The paper also reported that there are only three other HoJo's in the country.

This is a landmark not just for Waterbury, but for the rest of the nation as well. The buildings had a distinctive retro-futuristic style that made them visually compelling. There are probably thousands of people who have happy memories of going to HoJo's as a teenager for a burger and shake.

Presumably the franchise owners can still operate a restaurant in that building, so long as they make some major changes (new menus, new distributors). They are supposed to remove all trademark images--does that mean the turquoise spire has to come down?

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