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: Why are somethings demolished without permits?

This was the location of a Boston Market, but will likely become Take 5 Oil Change. Credit to Reader, Jason McMillon

This week in demolition we see a full plate of residential demolitions, and only two non-residential structures… Except that isn’t exactly true, as evidence by the photo below. I’ve been corresponding with a reader who has been keeping me aware of the demolition of a Boston Market on Jones Road, near 1960. I had already been made aware of another project across the street, that I was easily able to pull permits on, so why I saw nothing on this now gone Boston Market was somewhat confusing. Anyone living in Houston is already aware that our borders are confusing. It’s …

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It’s been how many years since Circle K bought our Corner Store?!

The Circle K at 5101 Gulfton, has been a stop for me since it was a Stop n Go! This location opened in the late 80s

In 1977 the Valero Energy Corporation was formed by the State of Texas, as a successor to a failed natural gas transmission company that Coastal had set up years prior. In connection with the Texas Railroad Authority (nothing to do with railroads), Coastal was allowed to build a multi thousand-mile set of pipelines, that supplied natural gas to city utilities. Most large Texas cities were tied into the Coastal system, with the unobtainable promise that prices would never rise. Then the Energy Crisis of the 70s hit, natural gas prices skyrocketed and all of a sudden Coastal’s pipeline subsidiary was …

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My Summer Vacation: A CVS on the Riverwalk

Checkout that sign not CVS/pharmacy, I believe it may possibly be against the law to have a sign for a pharmacy that isn't there

In 1993 Eckerd opened a new drug store at 211 Loyosa San Antonio, with an entrance on the Riverwalk, this location is now arguable “One of the best known CVS locations in Texas”. With the CVS acquisition of Eckerd in Texas (and a few other places), the store changed names and continues to operate as a bit of an oddity. Let’s start off with the history of the building. Built sometime in the mid 1800s, likely after the Alamo, but possibly during the final days of Texas’ independence, anyway you see it this is an old structure! The building originally …

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This Week in Demolition: Lots of pretty pictures!

Photo Source: Har.com

This week in demolition, we see lots of “prime real estate”, which in my mind means homes important enough to have an online listing! So sit back, and enjoy the pretty pictures this week! Residential Demolitions 12622 Rocky Meadow Dr, Houston, TX 77024– Fonn Villas, Photos 705 E 17th St, Houston, TX 77008– Pinelawn, Photos 903 Wynnwood Ln, Houston, TX 77008– Timbergrove, Photos 2702 Droxford Dr, Houston, TX 77008– Holly Park, Photos 722 E 17th St, Houston, TX 77008– Pinelawn, Photos 6434 Remlap St, Houston, TX 77055– Westview Terrace, Photos 13507 Kimberley Ln, Houston, TX 77079– Wilchester, Photos 5458 Edith …

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Laynes Chicken Fingers, have we been barking up the wrong tree this whole time?

Howdy readers! Let me start off today’s tale by telling you that I am a huge fan of Raising Cane’s. In 2005, I had a summer job in the Alief area, and was introduced to the wonder that was Raising Canes. I wasn’t so much drawn in by what I now know was the second location in the state (and the oldest still open), I wasn’t drawn by the elements imported from the original Baton Rouge location (cheetah print, LSU colors, and the mural), or even the ridiculous props on the wall like builders helmets, giant sockeye fish, and parody …

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An “after-life” look at a Lubys that was originally called Romana

It was a Bright day which made exterior photos very difficult, but this build doesn't much resemble a "normal" Luby's anyway

Cafeterias are a Southern specialty. Born out of the efficiency of self-serve prepared food, by utilizing a limited service concept, they were staples of the 20th Century. The cafeteria allowed families to quickly and cheaply feed an entire family. This was one of the major selling point early on, cafeterias were cheap. The quality of the food was below an average dine-in restaurant of the time, but still far above even the earliest incarnations of fast food. The first Luby’s Cafeteria as we have known them started around 1947 in San Antonio, by Robert Luby. The majority of the existing …

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Permit Roundup: P.F. Chang’s on the move from Highland Village

P.F. Changs on the move from Highland Village, and other new restaurants In 1996 P.F. Chang’s was a four restaurant chain, with 3 restaurants in Southern California, and one in Scottsdale, AZ. The same year executives, including some former Brinker folks, set their eyes on Houston for their first restaurant in Texas, and while I can’t confirm it, I believe this may have been the 5th location ever. The restaurant was built into new space at 4094 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77027 expanding into what had once been a road connection into the neighborhood behind. However, it seems that 25 …

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

This was originally one of the mid 2000s "Lego Style" Stripes locations, that looked like it was made of building blocks.

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

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

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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