The Howard Johnson’s restaurant at 1313 Olentangy River Road, shown in 1952, was one of a handful of central Ohio locations for the popular restaurant chain.

The first local one, at East Broad Street at James Road, opened in 1948.

It was part of the Miracle Mile shopping and housing area under development in east Columbus by Don M. Casto.

In 1947, The Columbus Dispatch reported, “The Howard Johnson Restaurant Co. operates a chain of 230 restaurants from Maine to Florida,” widely known for their “New England food” and a “standard of excellence which assures diners the chicken pies, swordfish steaks and fried clams will taste alike in all of the Johnson units.”

By the 1980s, most of the Howard Johnson’s restaurants in the area had been converted to Ground Round Grill & Bar restaurants, best remembered for encouraging folks to toss their peanut shells on the floor.