Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge and Restaurant Waterbury, Connecticut
Photograph 2001
Waterbury, Connecticut --2620 South Main Street
Including features from several eras of Howard Johnson's history, Waterbury's circa 1957 Restaurant was the last most authentic looking HoJo's to have existed. Nearly making it fifty years, its owners refused to negotiate a new franchise agreement ending its long and prosperous run in January of 2007.
Photograph 2004
Photographs 2002

Opened in 1957, Waterbury was initially a stand-alone unit. For many years the franchised location was owned by Donald Christie. In addition to Waterbury he owned HoJo's Restaurants in Hartford and Mystic. Mr. Christie was a key player in the franchisee ownership group created after the Howard Johnson Company was dissolved. The group, Franchise Associates Incorporated (FAI), was charged with overseeing the Howard Johnson's restaurant brand and related signature food items. Christie was a member of FAI's board, and served on the executive committee as its secretary.

Perhaps he recognized his and his fellow cronies utter failure at maintaining the Howard Johnson's brand, and subsequently closed or sold each of his locations. The Waterbury Restaurant was the only one to survive--barely! A partnership purchased the eatery only to engage in a long-running dispute that was finally settled in judicial proceedings.