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Photograph 2007: Robbie Delius
After U.S. 1 lost its status as a primary route for north-south travelers once Interstate 95 was fully operational, the future for Rockingham's Howard Johnson's was short-lived. Lasting nineteen years, the Restaurant was sold to Mr. Goodman who made the restaurant his own, but with few modifications. According to Ron Goodman, his father operated Goodman's for about 20 years then leased the building to others. The first lessee had been a former HoJo manager at the Southern Pines Restaurant, and he dubbed Rockingham "The Early Bird Cafe," which lasted for only about a year. Later another restaurateur operated Rockingham as a seafood eatery and prospered, but suffered a domestic dispute which resulted in the end of his business venture.
Photos 2006: Kummerlowe
Photographs 2005: Robbie Delius
Photograph July 2007: Penne Sandbeck
Photo 2007: Penne Sandbeck
Located near the Howard Johnson's in Rockingham was the Orange Bowl Restaurant at 236 S. Hancock. Featuring a bright orange roof adorned with a cupola, it was a HoJo's knock-off even as it promoted the orange! Robby Delius said local records indicate that it was open from 1965 to about 1974.
Photo & logo: Ron Goodman
Mr. Goodman reported that Revel's classic neon sign design dates from the 1950s, and originally featured animated pig's hands and a flashing arrow. The sign was redesigned in the early 1970s by its original maker and is no longer animated. The Goodman's hope to move the sign to the former HoJo's location, but onerous sign codes will likely prevent the move.
Photo 2005: Robbie Delius
Google screen captures September 2018
Photographs 2000s: Phil Edwards
Note the Sandman Motel sign below in Mr. Edwards photo!
Photographs July 2007: Penne Sandbeck
Photograph November 2005, Phil Edwards
Photograph 2007 Robbie Delius
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