Howard Johnson’s, the iconic orange roofed restaurant and hotel chain associated with retro family road trips and fried clam strips, is making a comeback. Now under the ownership of Wyndham, the hotel chain is being reinvigorated by a new modern look and “room refresh.” For two days only, today until tomorrow Friday August 23rd at 7:00pm, you can get a look at the future of “HoJo’s” while basking in the nostalgia of its past.
The two-day “Sweet Escape” pop-up will reveal the new look with a model guest room built entirely out of candy. The room is made up 450 pounds of licorice strings, marshmallows, caramel candies, rock candy and 80,000 M&Ms. The candy room represents the $40 million redesign that will be coming to Howard Johnson by Wyndham locations across the country. While the new rooms can be found in some locations already like San Diego and San Antonio, all rooms will be refreshed by summer 2020. All of the new rooms will feature modern amenities like free Wi-fi and flat screen TVs along with mid-century inspired furniture and artwork based on Howard Johnson’s retro-aesthetic and trademark blue and orange color scheme.
In addition to the candy construction the pop-up also features fun interactive photo-ops. You can jump into a pool of marshmallows or lounge in a giant orange Adirondack chair surrounded by beach balls. Before you leave, don’t forget to grab a sweet treat. Everyone who visits gets to take home some candy to eat.
Recognized by its iconic orange roofline, Howard Johnson’s restaurants and hotels reached their peak in the 1960s with more than 1,000 locations nationwide. Founded in the 1920s by Howard Deering Johnson, the company grew from a local soda fountain which served 28 different flavors of ice cream to a national chain of restaurants and motor lodges.
The Howard Johnson Sweet Escape pop-up is free and open to the public now until 7:00pm this evening and Friday August 23rd from 12:00pm to 7:00pm. You will find the exhibit at 393 Broadway, New York, NY 10013. It’s easy to spot by a giant orange sign.
Next, check out 10 Fun Facts about the New TWA Hotel at JFK Airport