Photo Winter 1985: Michael Lisicky
Hooksett, New Hampshire
AKA Manchester
 -- Rts 3 & 28

The Hooksett Restaurant was located north of Manchester and remained a Howard Johnson's until the middle 1980s. During the boom years after WW II, it was owned by Mrs. Amy Kling and managed by Howard Pomeroy. Later the unit is believed to have become Company owned and received a modest 1960s style makeover as evidenced by the exterior decorative concrete block and trellis treatments.

Michael Lisicky reported that the Restaurant was closed for the winter when he stopped to take a couple of quick shots back in 1985. However it might never have reopened, for by the next summer the site had become a used car lot. Not long after Larry Cultrera's visit documenting the closed Restaurant, the classic neo-colonial was demolished.

Photos July 1986: Lawrence Cultrera
The following commentary is provided by Nate Coggeshall-Beyea who has extensively studied and documented the history and development of Howard Johnson's in New Hampshire:

The Hooksett store was opened in about 1938, located at the intersection of Route 3 (Daniel Webster Highway) and Route 28 just north of Manchester. As a major intersection along New Hampshire’s central artery, this crossroads connected central New Hampshire with southeastern New Hampshire and northeastern Massachusetts. In the mid-1930s, this area was developing quickly as motorists from southern New England traveled north to vacation in the Lakes Region and White Mountains. This intersection was a natural stopping point for motorists, giving them a chance to stretch, shop, and enjoy a bite to eat along the way. The end result was a high-traffic restaurant location for HJ. Situated in front of the then-operating Hooksett Tow ski area, the Hooksett store was clearly a busy spot year-round.

Hooksett was built as a Hooksett type Neocolonial Two, a single dining room structure without a second dining room wing. Unlike many other neocolonial locations in its class, a second dining room wing was never added to Hooksett after construction, and it thus remained a single dining room structure for its entire life. It had a Portsmouth type cupola, three Hooksett type dormers, and most likely featured a rounded-closed entrance way along with a Portsmouth type sign. The building also featured standard HJ siding, shutters, and front-facing windows. A successful franchise for HJ, this store remained a viable entity, even after the arrival of a modern restaurant and motor lodge combination unit several miles south on Route 3 in Manchester proper. It escaped displacement.

In the mid-1960s, Hooksett received a major facelift, one that altered its appearance considerably. HJ had made this kind of makeover a standard practice for many neocolonial stores in its empire during the 1960s, as the chain sought to modernize and update.

Adhering to plan, Hooksett’s original entrance was removed and replaced with a terrace and new doorway, featuring a Simple Simon and the Pieman sculpted sign that included the location name “Hooksett” in scroll above. The original sign was also replaced with a new trapezoid type sign. HJ operations continued at Hooksett until the mid-1980s. After the Imperial Group sold off the HJ business to Marriott Corporation in 1985, this location was closed in 1986. Immediately after HJ left, the restaurant served as the home of Nault’s used car dealership, but its reincarnation was short-lived and the building was soon torn down in the name of progress.

Photo Winter 1985: Michael Lisicky
Photos July 1986: Lawrence Cultrera

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