Retail News: Bowling closer to returning to former Palace Lanes, and Taco Bueno is back in Pasadena

Taco Bueno takes over for Krispy Kreme in Pasadena

Good Monday to you morning loyal reader! Let’s start off this week off with another edition of Retail News. This first story comes to us from a reader’s tip. Good news to fans of Taco Bueno, if any, because the casual Tex-Mex drive-thru chain is expanding their Houston range even further. Some readers may remember Taco Bueno’s earlier presence in the Houston area which lasted from the 1970s-1980s fondly. While reporting on Taco Bueno’s return to Houston I found the food to be somewhat appetizing, but for the most part rather bland. Not unlike what Taco Bell was like before they dropped actual Tex-Mex and began serving mutant PepsiCo creations. The price was also a bit high compared to most other chains. For my worth, I’d rather make the drive to Taco Casa, but that is just a personal preference. The new Pasadena location takes the place of a Krispy Kreme location which recently closed looks to be well underway. Although the task of converting a bakery into a fast food restaurant won’t be too daunting to expect this to take a bit more time to open.

You have to wonder if they can make a smaller space like this work effectively.

Bowling closer to returning with Palace Social hosting Job Fair

After Palace Lanes of 4191 Bellaire closed in 2016 Houston lost not only its final traditional inner loop bowling alley, but also one of the oldest family entertainment venues in the area. Unfortunately since then Houston has continued to lose entertainment venues like Harlow’s who closed a year later in 2017. While not a great loss, Houston isn’t exactly in a great place to start with. As of 2021 there is only one option for bowling inside of the loop the downtown Lucky Strike, which is mainly a bar and restaurant having under 10 bowling lanes. Initially plans for the future of the building were limited and construction didn’t begin until 2019. Initial concepts called for the complex now named “Southside Commons” to be mostly commercial and office space with 30,000 Square Feet reserved for entertainment purposes but nothing else was disclosed. In October 2020 the Houston Business Journal reported that a new bowling based entertainment concept named “Palace Social” was slated to open in the Spring of 2021. Although as the days came and went without news it looked more and more likely that Palace Lanes may not open, however this all changed earlier this month as Palace Social announced plans to hold a job fair on May 15th. While an exact opening date has not been published Houston Business Journal reports that the folks behind the concept are pushing for a June 2021 date.


    1. No kidding, I didn’t even know Baytown had ever opened. I thought they had dropped it but looks like they just nuked it from the net. As for Pasadena, I’m not surprised. We’ll see how much longer Katy can hold on by themselves.

  1. Taco Bueno’s star dish is the Mexi Chips and Dips. Everything else is fine… just fine, but Mexi Chips and Dips is something none of their competitors really offer.

    It seems to me that the chain has a tough row to hoe in Houston, with plenty of competitors both chain and local that are much more familiar to the folks that live here. Maybe if we were getting a lot of north Texas transplants it would be easier for them.