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!

Foodarama’s Weingarten redemption at Maplewood Mall

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re taking a look at 5665 Beechnut St, Houston, TX 77096. A Foodarama store with a somewhat unique history. The store initially opened on January 28, 1965, as Weingarten’s Store #66. Construction of this store had started early the year prior alongside the adjacent Maplewood Shopping Center. The center was located right next to the boundaries of the greater Meyerland area, a part of Houston on which Weingarten’s had a stronghold, making it a no-brainer for them to open there. While the store made sense, Weingarten’s aimed to get more …

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Christmas Memories Unlocked, Toys R Us in 2022

Howdy folks, and Merry Christmas! Today we’re taking a quick peek at a Toys ‘R Us “flagship” location inside of a Macy’s. While not a true TRU location, it’s as close as we’re going to get for now. So let’s take some time to reflect on Toy Stores over the years. So first off, let us start with the ultimate question, where do toy stores come from in the first place? Well, like many other modern American staples, such as the steam engine, the seed drill, and even our modern democracy, modern toy stores have roots have their roots in …

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Here comes GFS Houston’s newest Supermarket Chain

This is the Katy location

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today we’re taking a preliminary look at Houston’s newest supermarket chain, GFS. The stores were established in the late 70s by Gordon Food Service, a wholesaler looking to move into the consumer space. The chain was initially quite spartan but has grown to compete with modern grocers.GFS stores are known for prominently featuring their house-branded products for good prices. They also feature wholesale and retail size packs without a membership requirement. More recently, the stores have added limited service departments, including a deli with pre-sliced meats and cheeses, along with cold sides and …

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Retail News: Krispy Kreme Closes Katy Location

The choice of this as the cover image is for your Jason!

In our second doughnut-related news piece in a row, Krispy Kreme closed their Katy location sometime last week. The store, which was at 1815 Mason Rd, Katy, TX 77450, is part of a larger retreat of the company from Houston. The chain returned to Houston in 2015 after a rogue franchisee lost their license in the early 2000s. The comeback has been marred with issues from unfinished stores to running the locations through multiple operators. In 2020 for unknown reasons, corporate took over operations of the remaining Texas franchisee. Earlier this year, four locations, 2 in Dallas and 2 in …

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The Journey from Fed-Mart to Fiesta!

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re looking at a Fiesta on Houston’s Southeast side with an interesting history. The building this grocery store occupies at 5600 Mykawa Rd, Houston, TX 77033, has an interesting history. The building was constructed in 1958 for the Fed-Mart company. For those not in the know, Fed-Mart was a chain of sores based out of California. In modern times the stores are often compared to Costco, or Price Club, both companies in which founder Sol Price would later have a hand in. In reality, though, the store’s merchandise mix would …

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Return to Almeda Mall to see Toys R Us

Even Macy's was super busy, except for the Toys R Us department

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re heading back to Almeda Mall, where I haven’t been in a few years. Long-time readers of the blog may remember that HHR’s first “big success” was the Chron republishing some of my photos of Northwest Mall after it had closed. On the advice of readers and my own curiosity, I quickly ventured to Almeda Mall afterward. While I knew the malls were identical twins, this was my first visit to Almeda. Checking out the mall, I was shocked at how similar they were. I knew that Almeda had a …

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Retail News: Tim Hortons opens second Houston location this Friday

Tim Horton’s plans to open its newest Houston location at 5312 W Richey Rd Houston, TX 77066. This location is the second in Texas to open after the Katy store opened about four months ago. The Canadian Coffee and Dougnut Shop has so far been well received, although those familiar with the chain have noted that the Houston stores are somewhat lacking compared to their Canuck counterparts. Most complaints revolve around our limited menu or different food suppliers. However, when compared to the local competition, Tim’s seems to be well-regarded. Currently, a third location is planned at 13451 Northwest Freeway …

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Harvest Market a grocery chain in Houston you probably haven’t heard of

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. This week, we’re looking at what could rightfully be considered Houston’s newest Supermarket Chain. Harvest Market stores feature everything you’d find in a standard Supermarket, Perishables, Pantry Foods, Service Departments, and even a pharmacy at some stores. However, they’d prefer it if you called them a “Grocerant” instead. No, a Grocer-rant isn’t a long-winded complaint about customers. Instead, it’s a grocery store that also serves as a restaurant. Harvest Market didn’t necessarily introduce the concept to Houston. That would likely go to HEB’s Chicken Restaurant Concept or maybe even Kroger’s partnership …

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Retail News: Home Goods come to HEB in Houston

HEB’s new Home by H-E-B lines have started to roll out at Houston stores. Back over 30 years ago, when HEB decided to try and brave the Houston grocery market, the company knew it had to differentiate itself to survive in this overcrowded market. Now, in 2022 the company is again breaking new ground with a selection of Home Goods in their grocery stores. HEB’s first Houston stores were under the guise of their Pantry Foods banner, with selections cut back to the bare minimum of what could be considered a Supermarket. Three decades later, the San Antonio-based chain had …

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This failed Hartz’s Concept Restaurant has worn many hats

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR! Today we’re doing a deep dive into a restaurant space on the Westside that can’t seem to keep a tenant. The space started out as the second location of El Papo, a small chain along the Northwest side of Houston. While far from being the first Tex-Mex chain in Houston, El Papo was pretty early on the Northwestside first opening in 1977 and making it up to three locations by 1985. However, around this time, bigger chains like the now-vanishing Casa Ole were taking the area by storm. El Papo would declare bankruptcy …

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