Cape Cod’s Howard Johnson Legacy Remembered as Chain Dwindles to One

A plaque at The Lost Dog Pub in Orleans, the site of the first Howard Johnson franchise location. Photo credit: Lost Dog Pub

A plaque at The Lost Dog Pub in Orleans, the site of the first Howard Johnson franchise location. Photo credit: Lost Dog Pub

BANGOR, Maine (AP) — One of the last two Howard Johnson restaurants will close in a couple of weeks, taking with it its fried clam strips and ice cream — and a slice of roadside Americana.

Howard Johnson hotel owner Sally Patel says the last day for the restaurant at her hotel in Bangor, Maine, is Sept. 6. That’ll leave one Howard Johnson restaurant in Lake George, New York.

Cape Cod was the site of the first franchise in the Howard Johnson chain. The restaurant is now the Lost Dog Pub in Orleans.

Howard Deering Johnson started the business in 1925 with a soda fountain outside Boston. That evolved into a chain of restaurants featuring comfort food and 28 ice cream flavors. The eateries predated the ubiquitous orange-roofed hotels.

Patel said Tuesday she and her husband kept their restaurant going for four years because it’s convenient for hotel guests. But she says business has been “very slow.” She says the restaurant closing won’t affect the hotel.

Cape Cod was the site of the first franchise in the Howard Johnson chain. The restaurant is now the Lost Dog Pub in Orleans.

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