The Last Operating Howard Johnson’s Restaurant Is Available

Image courtesy of Kevin

If you want to revisit the vacations of decades past by dining at an orange-roofed Howard Johnson’s, your opportunity may be running out soon. The very last HoJo restaurant operating, in Lake George, NY, is available both for sale and for lease and re-development. Update: The man running the restaurant says that it’s doing just fine, and just the property it sits on that’s for sale.

While you can still find plenty of re-purposed or abandoned former Howard Johnson’s restaurants, and the motel chain survives as part of Wyndham, the restaurant in the southern Adirondack mountains was the last official one in the original chain.

The restaurant has been on that site since 1953 or 1954 (reports vary), a former employee took over the restaurant and re-opened it in 2015 after a three-year closure.

“We’re doing great,” he told the Associated Press a few months ago when the other remaining Howard Johnson’s in Bangor, ME, closed its doors. “We’re going to do some renovations this winter. Spruce it up, keep it going.”

Now here’s what you see when you pull up outside for breakfast, if you can figure out the restaurant’s off-season hours.


(Thanks to tipster Kevin for this photo!)

A local real estate agent explained to Consumerist that the property is “available” in two senses: the owner is selling the property itself, and it’s also available for lease, so someone can lease the restaurant… or develop the site into something else.

The Associated Press tried to get in touch with the current restaurant operator, and so did Consumerist, and we were all unsuccessful. However, the property owner and son of the original franchisee confirmed to the AP that the restaurant is still open. It’s on off-season hours, being in a resort town and across the street from an outdoor water park in upstate New York.

The orange-roofed restaurant was part of a family-owned mid-century hospitality empire, mostly consisting of Howard Johnson’s restaurants.


Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.