The hotel restaurant with its large rectangular bar was a fascinating sight at the abandoned Howard Johnson's. Its separate front entrance was to the left of the main hotel turnaround, while inside it stood open to the regular hallways--and not far from the indoor swimming pool. Alcohol and swimming, always a winning combination.


The shattered revolving door at the front added to its charms, of course. It can't be easy to break the glass in one of these, or to aim in such a way that you don't bounce off the metal framing around every panel. Whoever inflicted this damage worked hard at it, I'm sure, and I can only hope it was worth it. Maybe they hit it with a car or something attached to a car? Or maybe they just bashed the hell out of it with something ordinary. It seems like a lot of work.


Bar and restaurant equipment, furniture, and fixtures are worth money in the thriving resale market, so this place had been pretty well stripped down.


Only the booths in incredibly bad shape were left behind, piled amid loose trash and torn-up ceiling and floor tiles. Also still there were the seats built into the woodwork--really nothing more than color-coodrdinated vinyl cushions fastened in place.


Apparently the bar, no matter how great it clearly was, couldn't be pulled out of the hotel. Maybe the entire thing, which is floor-to-ceiling, is load-bearing, or maybe it's just too big. It's too bad, because it was one hell of a nice free-standing bar.


Who among us has not worked a job serving other people their food and drink? I was lucky enough to bartend--which is mostly a blast--but I've known many waitresses, and the consensus seems to be that corporate restaurants murder your soul. (If you lack firsthand experience, watch the movie Waiting....) This restaurant strikes me as the corporate type, with woodwork and design reminiscent of a TQI Friday's or Olive Garden. With the added bonus of filling and delivering room-service orders.


Of course, not all of the destruction was planned and approved by the owners. Just as the revolving door was scrupulously destroyed, attentive vandals smashed out all the restaurant's side windows.


Unlike most of the hotel, this section was structurally intact. No smashed-out wall panels or missing windows and doors. It had a darker, more cave-like vibe.



Take a look at the hotel rooms here.

forgottenohio@yahoo.com

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