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America’s Last Howard Johnson’s Restaurant Reportedly Shutters in Upstate New York

Plus, beloved neighborhood spot Gaia Italian Cafe readies its return in downtown Manhattan — and more intel

A woman keeps her two-year-old grandson, Lincoln, occupied as they waited for their meals to arrive at the Howard Johnson’s restaurant in Bangor, Maine, on Aug. 31, 2016.
The Howard Johnson’s restaurant chain is no more.
Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Howard Johnson’s — the restaurant chain, not the hotel company — appears to have finally gone extinct. The Times Union reports that the last remaining Howard Johnson’s in America, a 70-year-old restaurant located in Lake George, New York, did not open for business over the Memorial Day weekend and the property’s lease is listed for sale online. The restaurant appears to have last opened its doors in March. Once considered America’s largest restaurant chain, Howard Johnson’s was an ice cream-fueled New England stalwart that reportedly hit its heyday in the 1960’s and 1970’s, but shrunk in later years as other fast-food chains like McDonald’s took over the country. The last New England location closed in 2016.

A celebrated neighborhood spot readies its return

Downtown Manhattan cornerstone Gaia Italian Cafe is expected to reopen for weekday lunch starting this week, EV Grieve reports. The nearly decade-old Italian restaurant formerly closed its doors on the Lower East Side in July 2020 due to economic pressures from the pandemic and ongoing disputes with other tenants in the building.

A knockout lineup of bars are popping up in NYC this month

Eastern Mediterranean spot Zou Zou’s is hosting Miami’s popular Sweet Liberty at its cocktail lounge Chez Zou tonight from 5 to 11 p.m., while NYC bar destination Dante is hosting a rotating cast of World’s 50 Best Bars luminaries — including NoMad London and Florería Atlántico from Buenos Aires — throughout the month of June at its Greenwich and West Village locations, according to a press rep.

The city’s nightlife-loving mayor is back at it again

Eric Adams apparently wants to create a 24-hour club district in NYC, according to Crain’s New York.

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