adjacent to the East Hills Shopping Center, the St. Joseph Howard
Johnson's Restaurant was opened in 1965 or '66. Unfortunately the
Orange Roof was not as popular in the St. Joseph market as had been
hoped, and to boost volume the Restaurant was converted into the
Howard Johnson Company's Ground Round concept in the early 1970s.
a Ground Round, the Restaurant did so well that it remained a corporate
property through HoJo's many trials and tribulations. In fact when
Howard Johnson's was sold and split apart by Marriott and Prime
Motor Inns in 1985, the St. Joseph restaurant was retained by Imperial
Group, then HoJo's former owner. Note that Imperial did not sell
the Ground Round Chain when it sold Howard Johnson's, and contrary
to a Wikipedia entry, Howard Johnson's had nothing to do with Ground
Round after 1985 since by that time the Howard Johnson Company no
Below & Lower: Orange Roof to Ground Round conversions
usually rendered interiors unrecognizable, but exteriors like St.
Joseph's remained completely recognizable--right down to the circa
1960s "HoJo's Arizona cactus" stone treatment.