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Although it was planned and built during 1969 which was a year of considerable expansion for Howard Johnson's classic Motor Lodge design, the Sherman Oaks complex employed a more modern layout that employed flexible Mansard public spaces (lobby, meeting rooms, and restaurant) and a mid rise guest building featuring an airy atrium/courtyard.
Photos: Phil Edwards

Considerably remodeled, Phil's guest room retained few HoJo's cues, save for its general layout.
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Photo December 2004: Phil Edwards
Riverside, California -- 1199 University Ave

Scheduled for a fall of 1969 opening, the 102 room Riverside Motor Lodge remained listed as a Howard Johnson's until 1992. Based on its number of rooms and description as a 2 floor facility, it was built using a classic Motor Lodge highway location layout. However the entire complex was razed by the early 2000s and no evidence of its actual design has yet surfaced.

Both the Riverside Motor Lodge and Restaurant were owned by Prime Motor Inns. Although Prime wanted little or nothing to do with owning, operating, or franchising restaurants, it did inherit a few after its 1986 purchase of the Howard Johnson brand. Quickly pawning off the Howard Johnson's Restaurant responsibilities to Franchise Associates Inc., Prime converted at least two of its former HoJo's into a short lived concept called Herbie K's 50s Diner. Supposedly achieving great financial success with the converted Coco Beach, Florida location, Prime remade Riverside in 1988. The concept lasted only as long as Prime's ownership, for in about 1991 the Blackstone Group purchased Howard Johnson and Riverside's restaurant became Nifty 50s Restaurant and Bumper's Lounge before finally being demolished to make way for the upscale shopping district that came to occupy its space.


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