Retail News: Highland Village, Houston’s first Starbucks abruptly closes

Houston’s original Starbucks location abruptly closed its doors last week. The store at 4081 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027, has been a mainstay in the shopping center for nearly 30 years. The shutdown looks like it may not have been at Starbucks’ discretion owing to ongoing construction in the area. A ramp leading to the store’s entrance along with the front sidewalk across the entire building was demolished just after the store closed. Neighboring stores Janie & Jack and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams also had their portions of the sidewalk removed, leaving only the steps up to their doors. It is unclear at this point if Starbucks intends to reopen the store. However, it is listed on Google as Permanently Closed.

Originally opening in November 1994, this location was the first of three Starbucks planned for an invasion of Houston which would begin along Westheimer. The space had been previously carved out of a larger warehouse and showroom in the 1980s to add quick-service food to the somewhat stagnant Highland Village shopping center. The spot would originally be occupied by a Great American Cookie Co. and later TCBY before Starbucks took over the space. Prior to Starbucks’ official entry into town, their coffee was brewed at the in-store Cafe of Bookstop. At this point, there has been no official statement on why this location closed or what will happen to the space.