Permit Roundup: Otto’s on Durham won’t be an Otto’s, Exclusive Furniture to replace Former West Oaks Barnes & Nobles, and other retail goings on!

Otto’s on Durham, isn’t going to be an Otto’s

At 903 Durham, a permit has been filed for a build out of a new restaurant, which was first envisioned back in 2018. When originally pitched, the new combined lot, was meant to serve as a combination catering kitchen, and BBQ restaurant. The venture was undertaken by the current owners of the Otto’s locations remaining in Houston, and the restaurant was pitched with the Otto’s name and logo prominently displayed on the building. Despite all this flash and show, at some point the name was changed to Doc’s Smokehouse, and if Facebook is to believed, may even be called Doc’s at Durham. While a HAIF thread has postulated that the Otto’s name doesn’t mean much in that area anymore, I think that and it being easier to pitch lot changes with a familiar and loved name like Otto’s. Although, truthfully, I don’t have anything to back that claim up. Who knows what final form this restaurant will actually take.

The new Doc’s Smokehouse at 903 Durham Photo Credit: hindesky


Chain Affairs

A permit has been filed for a new Chick-fil-A location at 11520 Pearland Pkwy Houston, TX 77075 while I was unable to verify it, I think this would put it right next to the Whataburger. Wingstop has filed a permit to convert a former Credit Union in the Carillon Shopping Center into a new location. Located at 10001 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042 located just inside the Beltway, Carillon is an impressive but mostly empty shopping center. While longtime holdouts have done fine, it does seem that Starbucks recently closed, and Chili’s is listed a “Temporarily Closed” which isn’t a good sign. A bit further down Westheimer, it seems that Dave’s Hot Chicken, (which yes, appears to be another hot chicken chain!) has filed a remodel permit for the former Urban Bricks Pizza which only lasted about a year and a half. The space at 12161 Westheimer Rd #100, Houston, TX 77077 is part of the Phoenicia shopping center. Finally closing out our chain affairs, we have a McDonald’s remodel at 17250 Tomball Pkwy, Houston, TX 77064. Fear not fans of retail, this isn’t a mansard conversion, but rather a 10-year-old McUnibrow location, getting a refresh.


Former Barnes & Nobles in Village at West Oaks to become Exclusive Furniture, and other retail goings-on

The Village at West Oaks, which is the power center across Westheimer from the eponymous mall, is getting a new tenant in their former bookstore. Originally host to Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, and Bed Bath & Beyond, the power center is now down to only two major tenants Best Buy, and Academy (who moved in around 2013), with Seismique an immersive art exhibit taking up the former BB & B store. Barnes & Noble closed this location quietly in early 2020 according to online reviews. The store was older, not receiving many of the updates many others had, and lacked a café after the in store Starbucks closed in ~2010. While a new tenant has yet to be announced it does appear that the store will stay together as opposed to being subdivided, upon checking a few sources, it seems that the new tenant in this building will be an Exclusive Furniture. The chain already has a smaller location in the same shopping center. In the Heights, it seems like the Big Tex Storage which took the place of a theater as mentioned in a previous demolition post, is getting close to done, with a plumbing permit filed. Finally, on a bit of speculation here, it looks like we may see a new Volvo dealership on the Beltway at Beechnut according to plumbing permits filed. In an area that was only 20 years ago still mostly grassy fields surrounded by lower income apartments, it has now become very built up, including the same apartments. The permit has an address of 8205 W Sam Houston Pkwy S, and is lacking a full zip code. The lot is a recently built, and to my knowledge vacant, strip center. We shall see as to what transpires here in a future edition of Permit Roundup!


  1. I’ve lived in Mission Bend since 1998 and have seen the area change so much. I remember everything that used to be out here, and Barnes & Noble West Oaks has been open forever and it was quiet strange to see it bite the dust so abruptly and quietly. Exclusive Furniture’s current spot was formerly a Petco, which closed I’d say sometime in the mid-2000s. I also remember the West Oaks Village shopping center having a small Dollar Tree, Gamestop, Souper Salad, and Ulta way back in the day as well.

  2. It’s pretty hard to believe that those ‘brow’ McDonald’s that were built new on top of old mansard roof McDonald’s starting in the late 2000s are now old enough for renovations themselves, but it does seem that Houston ‘brow’ McDonald’s are starting to see some renovations.

  3. Urban Bricks was open for a year and a half?! It seemed like it closed a month after it opened…

    1. Opened late 2018, and closed sometime during the pandemic, probably earlier rather than later. Confirmed via articles/reviews. I believe they had a few months in 2019 when they were closed too.

      1. I recall it being closed on several pre-pandemic trips to that shopping center in mid-to-late 2019, including one where I went there specifically to try the place (I ultimately went to Luby’s). Looks like every Yelp review but one was written between December 2018 and April 2019, with one October 2019 review. What a strange, short life.