Postcard circa 1968: Courtesy of Dan Donahue
Braintree, Massachusetts -- 150 Granite St
Located in a highly visible spot, real estate for the Braintree Red Coach Grill was acquired in 1963. However the upscale luxury restaurant did not open until June of 1969. Built as a stand alone eatery, the building served as a Prototype Red Coach for the Howard Johnson Company, and it was to be the forerunner of a new standard design. Featuring a 125 seat dining room, cooking was accomplished on an open hearth in full view of patrons. The restaurant also housed a lounge complete with a piano bar.

Brochures ca. 1970s -1990s: Dan Donahue

In 1977, the Red Coach Grill received a major renovation and gained an attached mid-rise Motor Lodge.

The Red Coach introduced Lightfoot's discotheque concept which the HJ Company hoped to add to other Red Coach Grills.

Matchbook circa 1980s

Lightfoot's was described in Howard Johnson's Third Quarter (1977) Interim Report:

"A new discotheque/lounge called lightfoot's was recently opened at the remodeled Red Coach Grill restaurant in Braintree, massachusetts. The new addition has proven to be very popular as an intimate gathering place in the evenings and as interesting meeting spot for business lunch in the afternoons. lightfoot's is enhanced by an appealing decor which mixes the effects of special lighting, mirrors, plants and handsome blond wood paneling. Live entertainment is featured in the evening hours."

Howard Johnson's Landmark: March/April 1978, page 1

The Braintree Motor Lodge served as the backdrop for Arthur Barrett (left) and Greg Hanish as they recognized Atlanta-Airport's 1977 sales record of $1 million for the year.

Note that Barrett went on to be President/COO of Franchise Associates Inc. contributing to the demise of HoJo's Restaurants and FAI.


Phyllis Peterson, secretary/marketing lobbed snowballs from a snowbank in Braintree's parking lot.

The snow was a result of a blizzard that took place in February of 1978 that immobilized parts of New England for a week.

Near a shopping mall and a host of roadside businesses, the Howard Johnson's site became valuable real estate, and was eventually redeveloped into a Barnes and Noble. Nothing of the Motor Lodge and Red Coach Grill remains, and the nearby Howard Johnson's Restaurant also succumbed to "progress."