Torn-Down Tuesday: Howard Johnson’s on Delaware at North

By Steve Cichon
steve@buffalostories.com
@stevebuffalo

The subject of the photo is clearly the women marching in a World War II era Memorial Day parade, but happily captured along with the ladies paying homage to our nation’s war dead is Buffalo’s original Howard Johnson’s Restaurant.

With wartime sugar rationing in effect, in was written, At Howard Johnson's the waitress will bring one lump; two if you insist, and carefully oversees dishing out the bulk sugar for iced tea or coffee. (Buffalo News archives)

With wartime sugar rationing in effect, it was written, “At Howard Johnson’s the waitress will bring one lump; two if you insist, and carefully oversees dishing out the bulk sugar for iced tea or coffee.” (Buffalo News archives)

Generations of Americans remember the homestyle dinners and 28-flavor ice cream selection at the more than 1,000 Howard Johnson’s orange-roofed locations around the country.

Buffalo’s most popular HoJo’s was this one at Delaware and North starting around 1941. The restaurant was a part of the sometimes-strange development of Delaware Avenue. Working class families piled out of wood-paneled, American-made station wagons right across the street from the home of News Publisher and Buffalo aristocrat Edward Butler.

The restaurant was remodeled in 1960, and remained a familiar landmark for the next three decades.

Buffalo Stories archives

Buffalo Stories archives

Walgreens purchased what was Buffalo’s last Howard Johnson’s location and built a drug store at the site on Delaware and North in 1994.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon is a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. The operator of Buffalo Stories Tours writes about the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo special at blog.buffalostories.com and daily at buffalonews.com/history. The storyteller and historian has written six books, worn bow ties since the 80s, and spent 20 years working in Buffalo radio and TV, climbing his way to news director at WBEN Radio. Since then, he's been an adjunct professor and produced PBS documentaries. Steve's Buffalo roots run deep: all eight of his great-grandparents called Buffalo home, with his first ancestors arriving here in 1827.