Howard Johnson's Landmark: July 1967, p 1
Costa Mesa, California
 -- 2750 Harbor Blvd

A Grand Opening celebration! Marking Howard Johnson's successful march across the North American continent, the Costa Mesa Restaurant opened July 6, 1965 making the Orange Roofed chain Coast to Coast!

Owned by licensee operator Edmond Peabody who also operated two Boston area locations, Costa Mesa featured an interior designed by Allson and Cambridge. The Restaurant was said to have "many new features reflecting the historic Spanish and charcoal carpeting with a tile block pattern, draperies with a grillwork design and woven wooden blinds in the lounge...enamel plaques and metal sculpture keeping with the bold, colorful open mood of the area."

Above: Our doors are open! Night Manager Joel Severance, Hostess Irene Docos and Manager Robert Morash happily await HJ's first California guest at Costa Mesa.

Left: A hearty welcome! Mr. Peabody and Mr. Smither get a "Greeters" glad hand from Costa Mesa Mayor Robert Wilson.

Howard Johnson's Landmark: July-August 1966, p 5

The 169 seat Restaurant was located in College Center Shopping Plaza, and offered room for 18 at its Dairy Bar, 70 in the main dining area with room for 50 more in a wing. The unit also featured a lounge with seating for 31. Although Costa Mesa had a Spanish/Western themed interior it featured HJ's standard booth, table, counter and planter treatments

Above: Stocking up, again ... Costa Mesa Manager Jim Hagemann says, "Attractive well planned displays really move our candies. Impulse sales keep Hostess Arlene Kendall on her toes as she fills cashier's center with fresh mints, lollipops and salt water taffy."

Right: Glamour with 28 Flavors... June Lindeman, the new Miss California, samples one of our twenty-eight famous flavors, now available for the first time on the West Coast.

Howard Johnson's Landmark: Aug. 1965, p 8

Photos January 2005: Courtesy of Phil Edwards
Opened with such fanfare in 1965, the Restaurant retained it Howard Johnson's name only until 1973 according to directories. Nonetheless the building survived and was operating as a Coco's as recently as the middle 2000s.
Left & Below: Although heavily disguised with a mansard, the careful observer could still spot the Nims ranch roofline and its Orange porcelain enamel roof tiles!

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