Monday, November 18, 2013

Howard Johnson's Opens in Lorain – Nov. 1955

Nov. 2, 1955 Lorain Journal ad
Nov. 7, 1955 article from the Lorain Journal
If you're a Lorainite over the age of 50 like me, then you probably remember when Lorain had a Howard Johnson's down on West Erie just west of Leavitt Road. (I've blogged about it a few times before, including here.)

If you've ever wondered how long the building has been there, the Grand Opening ad above answers that question. The ad appeared in the Lorain Journal on Nov. 2, 1955 – 58 years ago this month.

It may seem strange to readers of this blog that I have nostalgic feelings towards a national restaurant chain, but when it comes to ice cream, you can't have too many options in my opinion. My family usually went to Lorain Creamery for ice cream cones, but if we wanted to sit down and enjoy a sundae or milk shake, we might go to Howard Johnson's, since it was in our neck of the woods.

Today, the former HoJo building is the home of Chris' Restaurant (below).

The view on Saturday morning


Mike Kozlowski said...


When did Chris' take over the HoJo site? I seem to remember it being there when we got to the west side in '65, but my memory has been known to play tricks...:)


Dan Brady said...

Chris' Restaurant used to be a little bit west of its current location. Around 1968 or so it was where Jack and Diane's is now, at 5100 West Erie. So your memory is correct that it was out in that stretch of West Erie at about the time you remember.

Howard Johnson's was in the phone book until around 1976 or so. I'll have to look up at the library exactly when Chris' moved into the old HoJo building.

Dan Brady said...

I went back to the city directories and checked; Chris' Restaurant first appeared at the former HoJo location in the 1982 directory. The address had been vacant since the 1978 edition.