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 was no doubt a BIG store probably around 50,00 Sq ft.

A former Safeway with a split personality

When a grocery store closes, it’s not unusual for the space to be subdivided. Over the course of the 20th century, supermarkets became larger and larger, aiming for a broader range. Today’s example is a former Safeway located at 2028 N Main St in Pearland. Holding their grand opening November 11, 1979, the new Safeway was one of Houston’s earliest purpose built superstore locations. The breadth of items available was everything you’d find in a grocery store, a 5 & Dime, and still a little bit more! For example, you could buy small appliances, TVs, socks, shoes, plumbing, and electrical …

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Yes it's real a Stripes in a former Buc-ee's

A journey through Buc-ee’s turbulent youth

A quick aside before we begin today’s post. There was an excellent online review I read a while back that somewhat inspired me to write this post. It taxonomized Buc-ee’s locations by size, giving two examples “Baby Beaver” to describe the original stores in Lake Jackson, and Adolescent stores to describe ones like the store off 290 on Muschkee Road. For this post I propose adding a few more classifications to the taxonomy. A “Papa Beaver” store as the original “small” Travel Centers eg: Luling, and the “Grandaddy Beaver” stores, the Mega Travel Centers like New Braunfels. What’s your earliest …

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Permit Roundup: New Retail Spaces Appear Throughout Town, Multiple Remodels, and New Restaurants

Welcome back to our second Permit Roundup, this week our post is a bit shorter than last week. It seems similarly to Demolitions Reports, the Residential/Commercial balance changes from week to week, again with an emphasis on the residential permits. Also, if you didn’t read it in yesterday’s demolition post, my server is running very slowly at the moment, but I am in the process of updating, so please bear with me in the meantime. Regents Square, is an in progress mixed-used development with the unique goal of “Creat[ing] Houston’s premier mixed-use development and its first truly pedestrian-oriented city district.” …

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This Week in Demolition: If this is all you get, it’s all you get!

Howdy Folks, this week in Demolition we see some interesting demolitions, mixed in with a litany of technical issues! Hopefully everyone is seeing this post, as I’ve been encountering some technical issues lately. These are related to a consistent rise in traffic, which causes my server to often hit its limits. I’m trying to upgrade to a better server within a week or so, but of course I do have outside responsibilities to attend to. Anyways, on with the demolitions! From a commercial perspective, we see 11011 Northwest Fwy come down for a new Chick-fil-A. The restaurant started life as …

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Retail News: Wait a minute.. who just bought Luby’s and Fuddruckers?!

Happy Friday to you all dear readers! Hitting the “top of the retail charts” this week has been the sale of both the Luby’s and Fuddruckers brands, in addition to multiple locations. This is joyous news as it means you can continue to stuff yourself silly with hamburgers, and Luanne Platters, and as both chains are slated to live on, it’s even possible that some co-brand locations may remain open. With all this excitement for the survival of both restaurants, it seems little emphasis has been put on the details of both deals, so let’s break that down today!   …

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The building sign is still a temporary vinyl sign attached with rope. I'm wondering if an embedded lighted sign may be in the works?

7-Eleven has finally hit the end of the Raceway!

If you’re a regular follower at all of Houston Historic Retail then at some point you’ve seen our coverage of 7-Eleven’s return to Houston which at some point has been a bit contentious. It all started with a post back in February of 2020 when there was scant evidence of 7-Eleven’s return, which had been in progress since 2014! However, by early 2021 7-Eleven had made great strides in not only converting existing locations but in building their own locations as well as noted in a post from January of this year. Another great stride has been reached with the …

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Photo Credit: /u/hindesky

Permit Roundup: 7-Eleven lands in Katy, Indoor Paintball in Spring Branch, and Speculation on Washington Ave.

Howdy folks and welcome to… what I’m hoping may become a somewhat regular feature here on Houston Historic Retail. This is what I’m calling a Permit Roundup, the majority of my information for this post is based on permits that have been filed with the City of Houston. The point of this is to provide one of the earliest possible looks at up and coming retail development throughout the Houston area, somewhat in the vein of what the late great Swamplot did. This is still something I’m trying out, so let me know what you think in the comments! Corporate …

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This Week in Demolition: Demolishing the House that saved Buffalo Bayou

This Week in Demolition, we take a look at a very important house located at a very special spot on Buffalo Bayou. You’ve likely heard of Jacob and Terry Hershey, or at the very least have heard of the 500 Acre Terry Hershey Park, which spans the length of Buffalo Bayou from The Beltway to the George Bush Reservoir. If you’re around my age, you know probably don’t know much more about the Hershey’s than the park. Well, there is a little more than meets the eye to the story of Jacob Hershey, established himself by helping to create one …

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Retail News: Two more Fuddruckers closer to closing, including one in a former Arbys

So, let’s start off this post with the elephant in the room, Fuddruckers as a chain is not going out of business. Luby’s Inc is in the process of liquidation, but they have yet to announce final closing dates for corporate owned stores. While the sale of any remaining Luby’s Cafeterias is low to unlikely, Fuddruckers locations have been somewhat easier to unload. With the majority going to a company named Black Titan LLC, along with the iconic Memorial City location going to former Luby’s Inc CEO Chris Pappas, and many other locations already under franchisee ownership. As part of …

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The blue background really kind of pops out in the photos, but is not as intrusive in real life.

The not so great, Foodarama Shrinkorama!

Cox’s Foodarama is an independent grocery chain operating out of Houston, Texas, with 8 locations in operation as of this post. The chain simply goes by the name Foodarama in all local matters, but uses their founder’s (Carol Cox) last name to differentiate from the many other grocery stores in the U.S. using Foodarama. During the early days of the net, the confusion mostly came from New Jersey based Foodarama Supermarkets, which has since stopped trading under that name. The chain was founded in 1973, in a building with an already storied history. Having been built by Belden’s when they …

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