Saturday, February 13, 2010

Gaslight Lounge - Route 40 West

Howard Johnson’s Motels usually included the famous HoJos Restaurant on their premises. However this one, located at 5701 Baltimore National Pike in Catonsville, MD, additionally offered a bar called The Gaslight Lounge. Most nights during the early 70’s it featured live music and dancing. The house band named The Cherry Smash, whose cute, blonde drummer often made the girls swoon, covered rock and soul music from the late 60’s and early 70’s. The patrons consisted of a funny and entertaining mix. On one hand there were the out-of-town businessmen in suits who might relax with a whiskey sour or Tom Collins after a day of meetings or sales calls. Of course there were a number of adult singles looking for a pick-up. And then there were the underage drinkers who carried false ID and breezed past the bouncer with great ease. We felt so grown up at the Gaslight Lounge as we sipped our Southern Comfort cocktails and dared each other to dance with the “older” men.


  1. I love the sight of the orange roof--takes me right back to being 10 years old, all the trips we took going from MD to MI, always stopping at the HoJos along the way. Do they exist anymore? By the way, this post is from Mrs. Lanocula, not the good dr. I don't know why it's coming up like that....hmm.

  2. During summer vacation in the 1960's, my family always took a car trip from MI to visit several of the country's landmarks. We got up at the crack of dawn, drove all day, read Archie comic books in the car, then finally came to rest at the planned destination. My older brother and I were always happy to spend the night at a Howard Johnson's, especially the ones with a pool. Back then, a swimming cap was required! Chocolate milk shakes, french fries, and a grilled cheese sandwich were my favorites. Loved to take the post cards and mail them to my friends. As I recall, the waitresses were always so nice.