Photograph 1939: From Maine to Florida with Howard Johnson's
Miami, Florida -- 1100 Biscayne Boulevard

Like many well-heeled Yankees of the era, Howard D. Johnson called Miami his second home, and he desired to see his name in lights where ever he was. By 1938 his Orange Roofed empire was growing by leaps and bounds earning him tremendous profits. Additionally, everywhere, everyone wanted a Howard Johnson's Restaurant, as its reputation had come to precede it! Thus Howard D. Johnson had little problem convincing a Miami businessman to open the first Howard Johnson's Restaurant beyond the bounds of the Northeast. Located in Miami at 1100 Biscayne Boulevard, the new location proved invaluable as it symbolically served as the foundation of the burgeoning chain's popularity outside of New England. Its successful operation proved that Howard Johnson's was more than just a passing phenomenon.

Florida's first HoJo's was an eclectic piece of commercial architecture. Part of its facade resembled a theater's entrance while the dining room wings looked more like a traditional Colonial style Howard Johnson's. During mild weather, the doors below the "Howard Johnson's" marquee were opened to allow easy access to the dairy bar. Juxtaposed on the roof was a deco-fied cupola, topped with a Simple Simon and the Pieman weather vane--it was like a lighthouse beacon calling the hungry and curious to its doors.

Postcard circa 1939

Howard Johnson's Landmark 1965: courtesy of Nate Beyea

Time however did not stand still. By the middle 1960s Florida's first Restaurant had become outmoded and outdated. Its site was prime real estate for a Motor Lodge! Having become a public company, Howard Johnson's was no longer guided by the singular vision of its founder, but was managed by a team of executives led by the Harvard educated Howard B. Johnson. The company's focus had changed from stand-alone restaurants to locations that offered a complete package of hospitality, concentrating on the Motor Lodge concept.

Remaking its image in the 1960s, Howard Johnson's projected a "modern" look focusing on imagery and other elements that aligned the chain with the space age in the public's mind. Refreshed architecture was key among the company's efforts. Projecting modernity, the circa 1938 1100 Biscayne Blvd. Restaurant was replaced with a "sleek multi-story" Motor Lodge and an elaborate "Concept '65" Restaurant. Howard Johnson's towered over its competition and had reached the pinnacle of success.

Brochure circa 1965
From the moment you arrive,
Howard Johnson's hospitality is immediately-and pleasurably apparent. Your accommodations, whether you select an individual room, family unit or suite, will be tastefully appointed for your complete away-from home comfort. Color TV, direct dial telephones, and individually controlled air-conditioning are at your disposal.
rounds out the variety of pleasures that make up your stay at Howard Johnson' our well stocked Rum Keg Pub, you'll savor the favorite beverages, blended to perfection amid a warm and friendly atmosphere.
Gracious Dining
is a hallmark of Howard Johnson's from coast to coast. You'll choose from a richly varied menu of tempting snacks and delicious full-course dinners, served in congenial surroundings.
Discover a thoughtfully-planned environment for meetings and banquets to suit their needs. These fully equipped facilities which accommodate up to 60 people will ensure the success of any business or social function.
Rooftop Pool...
Whatever the season, whatever the reason, whether your plans are for pleasure, business or a social get together, you'll find that the comforts, the services, the atmosphere and sensible pricing of Howard Johnson's will make your stay here a rewarding and satisfying experience.