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!
Nicholas Eckhart

The time that Rax came to Texas

Editor’s Note: Today’s photos come courtesy of  HHR Contributor billytheskink Rax Roast Beef is an interesting topic; they never operated in Houston but certainly came close. Chances are, as well, if you’re a retail fan and reading this, you’re at least somewhat aware of Rax’s existence. It’s one of the few stories to make it into the mainstream, and honestly, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons. For some background, Rax was founded as Jax …

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Retail News: Avalon Diner & Shanghai River may soon be under offices

It looks like the retail center housing long-time Upper Kirby favorites Avalon Diner and Shanghai River may soon be demolished for a 14-story office tower. The situation seems to have first come to light on HAIF last week. While the demolition of the building is not yet set, Trammel Crow and CBRE have launched a website detailing their plans for the tower, which include multiple offices, parking, and ground-floor retail. While this ground-floor retail includes …

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Whole Foods; Whole Decor, Midtown’s Great Loss of 2023

Supermarket Decor is not something we have an excess of in Houston. In fact, in a talk with Randall Onstead, I had a while back, we discussed the declining role of style and looks in grocery. Randall expressed that there was a disconnect between the older generations, who valued looks and feel, and modern shoppers, who were price-conscious above anything else. The emphasis on everyday low prices means grocery shopping really isn’t what it once …

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A 99 Cents Only Store in Sacramento, CA Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

Retail News: 99 Cents Only Stores to exit Houston as part of company liquidation

Just over a week after Bloomberg News wrote about 99 Cent Only Stores potentially filing bankruptcy, news has broken that the chain will instead window business complete sometime shortly. According to the Chain Store Age article that broke the news, liquidation sales are set to begin today at all 371 locations. Of these stores, 51 are located in Texas, making it 99 Cents Only’s second-largest market, behind its home state of California. The deep discounter …

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Retail News: Another Fudds bites the dust!

Another Fuddruckers “corporate-owned” location in the Houston area has shut down in the past couple of weeks. The location at 11445 Fountain Lake Dr, Stafford, TX 77477, was shut down just prior to a lockout by the landlord for missing multiple months’ rent, according to a sign posted on the door. While a handwritten sign from the Fudds crew indicated this was a temporary closure, the sad wording makes it seem like this may not …

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Retail News: Food Town leaves former Auchan as a new grocer prepares to move in

The Food Town location at 8800 West Sam Houston Parkway in the former Auchan closed just over a week ago. The closure was announced, but it was a bit unexpected by the Houston retail community. HHR visited the store last week to investigate what was going on with the space. When Auchan closed in 2003, Grocers Supply Co. purchased and subdivided the building, with about half the space going to Food Town. As far as …

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Retail News: GFS opened a new Galveston Island Store this week

GFS, Gordon Food Service, opened its newest retail outlet in the greater Houston area on March 26th. The new location, located at 2402 45th St, Galveston, TX 77550, is the first bulk store on the Island and the first new grocery chain to arrive since HEB’s stint in the former Safeway (1990-2008). This new GFS location actually takes the place of a Gerland’s, which closed over 20 years ago. This store will also be the …

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Taco Bueno Houston; lights are on but nobody home!

Things haven’t been going well for Taco Bueno since they decided to return to Houston in 2020. Taco Bueno’s first go in Houston lasted from 1979-1988 and culminated with five locations throughout the city and only one in a suburb (Katy). This first go-around was all company-owned outlets, and to Taco Bueno’s credit, they had spent almost ten years at a few locations before pulling the plug. Taco aficionados tend to compare the chain with …

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What no Diner's Club?

Spring Antique Mall

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR! Today, we’re stopping somewhere I haven’t been in quite a while: an antique store! The last time we visited one was the Alvin Antique Center, formerly a Bottom Dollar Discount Store. I haven’t been doing too much antiquing since then. I still pick up retail nick-nacks at thrift stores, where I see them occasionally. However, I haven’t been able to find too much. So, when I visited this …

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Retail News: Walgreens temporarily moves Braeswood Square location during remodeling

The Walgreens in Braeswood Square is undergoing remodeling, and has temporarily moved their pharmacy only to a new spot in the shopping center. Walgreens is the only original tenant still left from Braeswood Square’s 1971 grand opening. The store is a bit different now than when it originally opened. Braeswood Square was an early attempt at a “sidewalk mall” by Weingarten Realty. The two anchors in the mall were Weingartens and Walgreens, and the shops …

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