St. Louis-North Airport, MO Hazelwood
 --9075 Dunn Rd. (9085 Dunn Rd.)

Built to serve the north side of the St. Louis area, Hazelwood or North-Airport opened in 1962. Located near aviation's famous Lambert Field with its terrific mid-century Minoru Yamasaki designed multi-doomed main terminal and its adjacent manufacturing and industrial area, the Howard Johnson's was well sited to attract a tremendous variety of patrons.

Right: Accompanying an article about the Restaurant's new cocktail lounge, and meeting room were several congratulatory ads.

The Missouri Restaurant, July 1966 p. 7:
Scott Sargent
Postcard ca. 1960s: Kummerlowe Archive

With more business than their building could accommodate, the Restaurant's owners Ernie Johansen and Jack Krater added a multifunction room as well as a cocktail lounge in 1966. The new space increased the Restaurant's capacity to 234 guests. Mr. Johansen credited successful operations on his following four points:

  • A name strong enough to draw travelers from an interstate highway as well as local people from the surrounding area.
  • A good location for travelers, and locally in an area populated by the type of residents that you expect to appeal to (in the case of Howard Johnson, young families and thousands of small children).
  • Run by experienced food person.
  • Use of constant promotions to individualize your place from the other franchise operations.

The July 1966 issue of The Missouri Restaurant excitedly proclaimed that Hazelwood's Howard Johnson's was "moving ahead with the times." Here are a couple of excerpts extolling the Restaurant's wondrous virtues:

The new meeting room has been done with much style and good taste. It has red and black wall-to-wall carpeting, and a fabulous nine-foot diameter chandelier which is eye-catching. Walnut paneled walls feature numerous long and narrow windows with red shade-type treatment, several stunning mosaic tile decorations and panels of gold metallic wall-covering that frame lantern-type light fixtures. The large, round, drop leaf tables are adaptable to various meeting room seating situations. The black heavily padded Shelby-Williams chairs make for relaxing, comfortable meetings. A projector is built into the ceiling. Green and amber diamond glass dividers screen an area at one end of the room, which contains a waitress service station, rest rooms and coat racks

The cozy, inviting cocktail lounge has pecan paneled walls, and tile wall accents as the meeting room. Small round cocktail tables feature a leather-look formica, as does the bar top. The bar is 25 feet long with Shelby-Williams arm chair swivel stools. The bar backwall is cork, lighted to draw attention to a mace, antique keys, a wood carving, a French print, and a very interesting array of eye-catchers and conversation pieces.

Along with the "ounce and a half" Howard Johnson drink recipes (which have been well-received by customers), a new steak has been added to the Hazelwood Howard Johnson menu, the 12-oz. boneless strip steak, the Howard Johnson Company provides for their Red Coach Grill. In the immaculate kitchen you will find a Garland heavy duty range, a Baker Pride broiler.

The Missouri Restaurant, July 1966 p. 9 & 10
Right: Inviting... Second new addition to the Howard Johnson Restaurant that is located far north in St. Louis County is a cozy cocktail lounge that seats 12. This inviting area features pecan paneled walls. A 25' long bar featuring armchair swivel stools. Bric-a-brac complements the room.
Left: Something New... This handsome room--newest addition to the Howard Johnson Restaurant in Hazelwood--is shown as it is used for day-to-day dining. Standard decorative features in this room are walnut paneled walls with numerous long and narrow windows featuring red shades and panels of gold metallic wall covering that frames lantern-type light fixtures.

Business card ca. 1962: Kummerlowe Archive
Spread out facing I-270 at its classic-type clover leaf interchange with Lindbergh Blvd., the complex had a prime spot. It was exceptionally modern and initial plans allowed for considerable if not overly ambitious expansion as evidenced by the property's business card--the guest buildings depicted behind the Restaurant were likely never built! Nonetheless the Motor Lodge did expand and grew from 75 rooms in the late 1960s to at least 99 by the middle 1980s.
Postcard ca. 1960s: Kummerlowe Archive
Lobby card ca. 1970s: Dan Donahue

Postcard ca. 1960s: Kummerlowe Archive
Above & Right: Howard Johnson's Towering Trapezoid highway sign--then recycled by the Pink Galleon.
Photo August 2004: Phil Edwards
Photos August 2000: Kummerlowe Archive
Photos August 2004: Phil Edwards

Save for its towering trapezoid highway sign and considerably altered Restaurant, nothing of the rest of the complex remained by the middle 2000s. At least two motels were eventually built on the spacious parcel of land which had once supported the sprawling Motor Lodge. Note that the former Howard Johnson's Restaurant site may have been converted into Red Birds Sports Cafe & Billiards by 2008.

Below: Could the Gate Lodge have been moved? Discovered about 13 miles south of Hazelwood's former site, an A-frame structure unmistakably resembling a Howard Johnson's Motor Lodge Gate Lodge was near the intersection of Adie Rd. along Lindbergh Blvd. Here is an aerial view!


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