Author: Mike

My name is Mike and I am the founder of the Houston Historic Retail! I have been running this site since 2015. For more information check out the About page!
This was originally one of the mid 2000s "Lego Style" Stripes locations, that looked like it was made of building blocks.

Stripes begin to fade as the 7-Eleven conversions push on

Howdy folks, let’s get started today by a simple recap of how 7-Eleven entered Houston (the second time). After exiting in the 1980s & 1990s, Houston was notably absent of most chain gas stations, including 7-Eleven and Circle K. Throughout the next 25 years this would be the norm, until 7-Eleven began exploring our town around 2012, with their purchase of Tetco and Speedy Stop locations, around the metropolitan area but not within city limits. Although they retained their original branding for a while, these were some of the first stores to reopen as 7-Eleven around 2015. A year later, …

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The Ike's Super Mario Sandwhich. Photo Credit: Wilis Lam

Permit Roundup: Visitors abound: Mr. Potato drops in from New Orleans, and Happy Lemon from China!

Newcomers enter into Houston Howdy, folks, and welcome back to our regularly scheduled Permit Roundup! This week seems to have been relatively quiet as far as new filings go. However, we do have a few standouts, so let’s start with those. Two “out of town” restaurants have filed permits to build locations in Houston. One of these is Mr. Potato. The restaurant concept was born over in New Orleans originally as a food truck, opening their first brick and mortar location in 2020. An article earlier this year from Nola.com gives a good rundown on the chain, but the idea …

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The doors to the mall were non-functional which leads me to believe it's mostly closed.

There’s a dead mall in Stafford you probably didn’t know about

Howdy folks and welcome back, we seem to be getting to a great diehard core of readers here, and I’m really happy about that! I want to take a moment to thank the folks who keep coming back to read and share my content. Please keep reading, sharing, and commenting, that’s what keeps me going! Moving on to today’s topic, I’ll warn you up front, this is NO HIDDEN GEM, this is not a mall that has been open for years, and is now slowly finally dying off. This is a failed experiment and meets the bare minimum of what …

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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 …

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Once inside you're greeted with a tightly packed storefront, with no defined path. This was one of the worst experiences I've had trying to get around a store, since I was old enough to see over the boxes!

This decor still provides service “Merchandise”, at American Freight

Let’s start off today with a little history of 2665 S Texas 6, Houston, TX 77082. If you’re too young to remember, Service Merchandise was one of the final catalog showroom chains in the U.S., and one of the last to operate in Houston. Their entry into Houston came via acquiring another company named, Wilson’s. Most locations were built next to Office Depot stores, although I’m not sure which chain to trace this to. Service Merchandise was known for selling relatively high quality merchandise at decent prices. While they weren’t a discounter by any stretch, they had pretty nice stuff, …

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This Week in Demolition: A quasi-Cape Cod Colonial, and not much else!

Apologies for the delayed demolition report, command post & HQ for Houston Historic Retail, moved over the weekend! Nothing fascinating today, due to the obviously short list. Expect a Permit Roundup, later this week on HHR! Residential Demolitions 12626 Vindon Dr, Houston, TX 77024– Fonn Villas, Photos 5429 Judalon Ln, Houston, TX 77056– Larchmont, Photos 3822 Olympia Dr, Houston, TX 77019– River Oaks, Photos 2438 McClendon St, Houston, TX 77030– Brantwood, Photos 1715 Monarch Oaks St, Houston, TX 77055– Monarch Oaks, Photos 149 Bolden St, Houston, TX 77029– Clinton Park 4041 Ella Lee Ln, Houston, TX 77027– Oak Estates 8321 …

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Believe it or not, the Food and Drugs signs are likely original from Safeway, although they would have been red.

Lake Jackson just can’t keep a dang grocery store!

My heart always drops a little bit when I hear about a former Safeway shutting down for good. It’s amazing that stores built in the 1970s are still operating as grocery stores, that’s the equivalence of someone in the 2000s shopping at a store that opened in 1950, not impossible but largely unheard as by that point the supermarkets that had been built would be outsized in only a few years. The Lake Jackson Safeway has a somewhat complicated history, or multiple operators having either short bursts of success or measurable failures. Some of this may have to do with …

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The Gym and a couple of other tenants had obviously gone out of business, but most everything the the former Wal-Mart is open.

Random Retail: Two out of place Big Box Retailers, and Two former Burger Joints

Welcome folks, today we’ve got another edition of Random Retail! This week we have a heavy emphasis on a former Wal-Mart, but not enough that it warrants its own post. If you’ve never experienced Random Retail before, well it’s basically a dump of photos I’ve taken that don’t really fit in with anything else I’m doing at the moment. A good portion of these Random Retail photos come from former Wal-Mart #597 at 7075 FM 1960 W., Houston, TX 77069. I had originally planned to go a bit more in-depth on the location, but found myself lacking any good photos …

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This Week in Demolition: As American as Apple Pie!

No story this week, but demolitions are blow. Enjoy your 4th! 1815 Marshall St. HAR.com   This is a list of the buildings which received a City of Houston demolition permit the week before this post.   Residential Demolitions 3006 Reba Dr, Houston, TX 77019– Avalon Place, Two-Story with Pool, Photos 2324 Peckham St, Houston, TX 77019– Normandy Place, 1940s, Photos 2536 White Oak Dr, Houston, TX 77009– Norhill, 1930s, Photos 1815 Marshall St, Houston, TX 77098– Winlow Place, 1930s Duplex, Photos 1605 Pine Chase Dr, Houston, TX 77055– Glenmore Forest, Photos 4519 Nolda St, Houston, TX 77007– Brunner, Photos …

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