By Alan Morrell, June 13, 2022
Once found all over the country, what happened to the Howard Johnson’s in Brighton?
At one time, Howard Johnson’s restaurants were as ubiquitous in the American landscape as the McDonald’s golden arches have become.
Communities throughout the country were dotted with the signature orange porcelain roofs, blue shutters and trademark weathervane atop.
Customers flocked there for frankfurters, clam strips and the 28 ice cream flavors. The chain peaked at more than 1,000 by the late 1970s, with local restaurants in Brighton, Greece, Gates and Henrietta.
One of the best loved was at Twelve Corners in Brighton, which was as much a place to meet and greet as to eat.
“Every election day, we would get there at 7 in the morning and then come back at the time the polls closed,” said Louise Novros, an emeritus member of the Brighton Chamber of Commerce. “When it closed, there was a big hullabaloo, because it was a landmark. It was the place.”
The Brighton Howard Johnson’s (or Ho Jo’s, as the chain became known) opened in 1940 and stuck around until 1985. Ray Tierney III remembered it well. His family ran Tierney Super Duper at Twelve Corners for more than 30 years, right behind the Howard Johnson’s.