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 Week in Demolition: While Disco Kroger boogies out of Montrose could an apartment tower be making its way in?

This Week in Demolition, we take a moment to ponder what it means when losing Taco Bell and Kroger sever your emotional ties to an area. Earlier this week there was a big buzz in local social media over a photo of the Taco Bell on South Shepherd being demolished, followed shortly after by a photo of an excavator sitting in front of the former “Disco Kroger“. The comments on the social media site I viewed were wrapped in how the loss of these two institutions signaled change in the area, and how this change affected their emotional ties. As …

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Retail News: Foodarama sells another former Safeway, and Village Medical comes closer to achieving goal

Foodarama Sells Another Former Safeway According to the Houston Chronicle, property developer Baker Katz has acquired the former Safeway at 1805 Ella Boulevard, which is currently occupied by Cox’s Foodarama. The building was originally constructed as two separate structures, with Safeway forming the right side, and Eckerd forming the left. (Shout out to Anonymous in Houston for figuring that one out!) As such, the two properties were under separate ownership and have remained as such even when Safeway expanded their store into the former Eckerd. Baker Katz acquired the Eckerd portion of the property in 2016, and in May of …

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The cover page of the booklet is glossy and features the only color graphics.

The Randall’s 1987 Food Fest

Today we’ll be taking a look at the 1987-88 Randall’s Food Almanac. What is a Food Almanac, you might ask? Well, it’s a year round collection of recipes, paired with coupons and vintage advertisements. Using a Food Almanac as advertising was not unique to Randall’s, but its debut was tied to a much bigger event, The 1987 Randall’s Food Fest. This was the third year of the newest celebration Randall’s had to offer. From samples of in store products, to chef created dinners, the Food Fest not only provided a gourmet experience, but for most Houstonians their first glimpse into …

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This Week in Demolition: A testament to our lack of Zoning Laws!

Houston is a city without zoning laws, and while that’s not news to most, it’s something Houstonians don’t generally encounter issues with. Through a mishmash of other regulations, NGOs, and other bureaucracy we’re able to have Houston maintain a pretty good facade of being a normal city. Except for the times when it’s not, like when the owner of 7624 McHenry decided his residential lot was the perfect place for new multiunit 2-floor apartments. Or how a densely packed neighborhood has developed around one of Houston’s Juvenile Detention Centers. These decisions were not made without forethought, by the 50s Gulfgate …

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One last birthday dinner at Luby’s

Welcome reader, this time we celebrate my birthday at Luby’s one last time… geez that sounds a bit morbid does it not? Well for those of you not from the Houston area but happen to read this blog, or those of you who avoid cafeteria food, or you, yes even you, person who accidentally found this post via Google 5 years later, worry not as Luby’s time is up, not mine! It has long been a birthday tradition of mine to eat at Luby’s usually with a grandparent at the Post Oak location. Unfortunately as the years have dragged I …

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This Week in Demolition: It’s all about location

It’s 2018, you’re a property investor with a dream, of getting in on that sweet Second Ward redevelopment. At this point, some new building has occurred in the area, especially with new bars popping up. Although the area lacks a distinctive style, so you hedge your bets by building what could easily pass as, and may have been an early 20th century home on piers. So why tear it down in 2021? It’s all about location. This is a list of the buildings which received a City of Houston demolition permit the week before this post.

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This is the Clute location which opened April 2021,

Retail News: Ollie’s Bargain Outlet comes to Houston!

Good Stuff, Cheap will soon be available in Northwest Houston as Ollie’s Bargain outlet prepares to open their first Houston location sometime this summer. While no official statement has been made by the company, a newly hung banner has confirmed online suspicions that an Ollie’s location will soon fill part of the former Target in the Steeplechase Center at the intersection of Jones Road and F.M. 1960. Anonymous in Houston also found online job postings for the new location. This marks the second permanent tenant for the former Target since the store relocated closer to 290 in the early 2000s. …

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Photo Source: HAR.com

This Week in Demolition: Photos are key to selling a house

With the recent spike in real estate, and our increased digital browsing, it goes without saying how important photos are to selling a house. They say that photography is all about timing. While this realtor appears to have timed their photos poorly with freeze damaged plants, at least they’ve included pertinent photos. Houses this week are in order of interest. Photo Sources: HAR.com This is a list of the buildings which received a City of Houston demolition permit the week before this post.

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Next we have 9645 Westheimer. This location still features the box but somewhat less prominently than the others.

Feeling square about Jack in the Box’s future

When was the last time you visited Jack in the Box? I recently had a conversation with a coworker about America’s second favorite clown fronted hamburger fast food restaurant. I had dropped by for lunch, that day and my coworker mentioned laughingly mentioned “I remember when Jack in the Box used to be in actual box buildings!” despite an age gap between this person and myself I remarked remembering these stores too. While the specific location I fondly remember, (Mid Lane and Westheimer) has been demolished for several years, the cube stores do live on with the majority still open …

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Walking back around to the front of the store I found the entrance contained a small addition. This was likely added by the store based off of the cart door on the side. I had a good idea what store this had been by this point.

What was Ashcraft European Bakery?

I was driving through Stafford the other day for an upcoming post, and happened upon a building I didn’t recognize. Generally when I drive around I have a nice mental GPS going, if you will. I can envision what buildings, landmarks, etc.. are coming up and surrounding me. Not an extraordinary feature by any stretch of the imagination but as you can assume retail enthusiasts’ mental GPS’s have far more information related to buildings and landmarks than most other folks around us. That’s why I felt very caught off guard when I saw the Ashcraft European Bakery building. For many …

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