Pottstown Mercury News: 12-3-1947
Pottstown, Pennsylvania -- 1500 High St

Pottstown was a pre-War store operated by Miss. Marian Conrad. Upon obtaining her position as secretary of the executive board (of licensees) in 1947, she was afforded a meeting with Howard D Johnson and an eight day tour of 32 Restaurants and food production facilities. Moreover she was given an escorted tour of Boston and visited Logan airport to inspect Howard Johnson's airline food service operation. By the 1950s she had married and her last name was changed to Wentzel.

An April 1948 article in the Pottstown Mercury indicated that the Pottstown Restaurant along with Allentown were owned by the General Highway Facilities Company based in Philadelphia.


Below: Note that the Restaurant's roof was clad in asphalt shingles and not porcelain enamel--an indication of the building's very early construction.
Photograph circa 1950s

Quakertown, Pennsylvania -- 25 North West Blvd.
Although there are no images available to post, Quakertown is worth mentioning on two points. First, opened in 1979 it was the last Howard Johnson's Restaurant to open in Pennsylvania. Secondly it was unusual because it was converted from a local eatery called Mr. D's, rather than having been a new build. Interestingly the Restaurant was met with some enthusiasm and locals were somewhat disappointed that a Motor Lodge was not included.

Reading, Pennsylvania -- Pennsylvania Ave. (Rt 422)

A stand-alone Restaurant built in the neo-colonial style, Reading was among the first group of Howard Johnson's to have been opened in Pennsylvania. Unfortunately for the early location, World War II put it out of business and it apparently never reopened. This information is based on Howard Johnson's directory/map guides dating from 1940. These publications do not indicate that a Howard Johnson's ever reopened or existed in Reading after the original location (later in 1959 there was a Restaurant adjacent to the Denver-Reading Motor Lodge located at the Pennsylvania Turnpike, but not in the town of Reading). HoJo's fans have discovered an eatery in Reading that resembles a Nims-type building, but directory listing do not indicate that it was in fact a Howard Johnson's.


Postcard circa 1970
State College, Pennsylvania -- 1272 N. Atherton Street
Opened in about 1963 adjacent to the Nittany Manor Motel, the State College Restaurant was convenient to Penn State University, and lasted into the 1980s as a Howard Johnson's. Meanwhile the old Nittany Manor was purchased by Andrew A. Zangrilli where he opened an eatery called The Deli Restaurant. Later the Nittany Manor was demolished and a Motel 6 came to occupy most of its former site. Even as reports indicated that the former State College Restaurant had met the same sad fate as the Nittany, it actually had lived to see another day! In the early 1990s Zangrilli, who had owned the adjacent Nittany, created a new eatery called Mario & Luigi's Italian Restaurant which came to occupy the former Howard Johnson's. Mario & Luigi's is part of Mr. Zangrilli's interesting mini-empire of specialty restaurant concepts -- all under the banner of Dante's Restaurants, Inc
Photographs February 2006: Courtesy of Maura Shea