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!
The only bit of sign removal that has taken place appears to be accidental.

A former Hartz Chicken in a former Burger King

Nowadays fast food restaurants, and many other retail outlets, are built with such little detail that you couldn’t tell them apart from their competitors with their branding. This isn’t just a coincidence either, bland styling easily allows buildings to be reused by other companies, and is often required in planned communities. This, however, was not the case back in the 70s and 80s when chains like BK and McDonald’s went on expansion streaks in major cities, as areas changed and the original restaurants closed, you’re left with what can easily be identified by a non-retail fan as at the very …

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I'm pretty sure these are old H-E-B aisle markers as it matches their design cues from the era, but I'm not positive either.

The one where Safeway and H-E-B made the exact mistake 10 years apart

In late 1982 the Houston Division of Safeway opened a brand-new store to serve the growing Alief, and Mission Bend areas of far West Houston. At the intersection of Bellaire and Synott the modern round edged store opened as the anchor tenant of the shopping center along with an Eckerd. While far from being the last Houston Safeway to open, this would be one of the last built, as most “new” stores going forward would be former Weingarten locations. In 1984 Safeway acquired ~40 remaining Weingarten locations from Grand Union, who had been slowly breaking the chain up. For the …

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Ollie's as previously discovered decided to utilize the left side of the building, which required filling in Target's former auto service bays.

Retail News: Ollie’s holds grand opening, despite hurricane

Howdy folks, welcome to another edition of Retail News, and this week we have some good news! Ollie’s Bargain Outlet was able to hold their scheduled grand opening on Wednesday, September 15th, despite Hurricane Nicholas making landfall just a day before. It seems that so far Ollie’s is a hit! Fellow retail watcher, Anonymous in Houston, noted that nearly 50 photos has been posted on Google Reviews within hours of the grand opening. I had a chance to visit this long awaited Houston branch this previous weekend and found no lack of customers, however it seems that this is a …

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This Week in Demolition: 2 Homes and a Pool, right on Memorial Park

This Week in Demolition, we have two homes, seemingly joined at the hip, with a big pool in the backyard, right across from Memorial Park. This lavish monument to 1990s Houstonian exuberance will soon be demolished for something even more grand. Residential Demolitions 6518 Kury Ln, Houston, TX 77008– Timbergrove Manor, Photos 406 & 412 Crestwood Dr, Houston, TX 77007– Rice Military, Faces Memorial Park, Photos, More Photos 409 Schwartz St, Houston, TX 77020– Barnes & Westmore, Photos 1734 Hollister St, Houston, TX 77055– Timbercreek, Photos 3602 Billingsley St, Houston, TX 77009– Irvington, Photos 425 W 21st St, Houston, TX …

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Dining Out on Highway 6, a reflection on the dead restaurants near West Oaks Mall

Howdy folks and welcome to a companion piece for the Month of Malls. While not a full mall post, our center topic today are the dead restaurants near West Oaks Mall. These eateries are mostly adjacent to West Oaks Village Shopping Center, as opposed to the mall itself. However, let’s start off talking about full service eateries in West Oaks Mall. While the mall had its fair share of staple food court tenants, up until about 2010 full service dining has always been light at West Oaks. While a few restaurants like Biaproettis and most recent out parcel tenant Applebee’s …

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This photo shows how massive the lobby is. I wonder if this is a legal requirement, or zoning? I feel they could do without the glass doors, and could easily place product out here.

Permit Roundup: Slim Chickens inside the Loop, Taco’s A-Go-Go at Greenway, and a few more Village Medicals

Howdy folks, and welcome to another Permit Roundup! Unfortunately, last week, I ran out of time before I was able to complete the post, and it looks like I’m going to run into a similar issue again this week. While I won’t have time to write a full article, I do still have time to pull the data needed. I’m also included the interesting pieces that were skipped last week. I’m unfortunately going to be a bit more time limited at the moment, so let me know if you guys find this acceptable in the comments! (P.S. If anyone is …

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Image Source: Google Streetview

This Week in Demolition: Barn Only

Today’s demolition has something special in it. Barn Only, this is a tag that is obviously somewhat special, as I’ve never seen before. The house it applies to is somewhat special as well. 1903 Wycliffe, doesn’t fit in with the rest of the early 60s homes on the block. It’s a beam and pier farmhouse, with a barn to boot! Taking Google Streetview back just a few years, you can even find a matching shed. This week, I tried to figure out where and how this house appeared here, and this is what I found. HCAD lists this house as …

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The "unique" front of this Randall's was updated at most other stores to be the boxy enclosed entrance that most stores still feature to this day.

The best Foodarama I’ve ever been to: Randallasarama!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we begin by adding another definition to the HHR Dictionary, with the new term Randallsarama. Randallsarama- (Noun) A Foodarama location occupying a former Randalls Supermarket. “Great news, the Randallsarama had discounted chocolate cake!” Now that we’ve got the taxonomy out of the way, let’s get into the history of this store. We’re talking about Foodarama at 1603 Cartwright Rd, Missouri City, TX 77489. Originally opening October 2, 1983, as Randall’s #24. By the 1980s Randall’s was already associated with being on the somewhat “higher edge” of grocery stores, both in …

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Photo Credit: Highrise Tower, HAIF

This Week in Demolition: Firehouse Saloon land starts redevelopment and Harris County snipes a few houses along White Oak Bayou

This Week in Demolition, the burnt down, closed down, Firehouse Saloon, is torn down, and info on the low down, shows another gas station for this town! This is a list of the buildings which received a City of Houston demolition permit the week before this post.

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The Mission Bend Fiesta, where neon still reigns king!

Over the past ten years, with emphasis on new lighting technologies like LED, neon advertising signage has found itself oft being replaced by cheaper imitators. While this “fake neon” lighting has become commonplace in most stores, there is one chain where neon still reigns king, Fiesta! Neon exists at most (but not all) Fiesta locations, with some stores incorporating it as part of their signage, and other using it simply as a decor accent. While the familiar giant Pepe the Parrot neon exterior signs have mostly been replaced (as required via sign permitting) with LEDs, the interiors of most Fiestas …

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