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!

Retail News: Kroger-Albertsons may sell off 400 stores to C&S, what this means for Houston

Reports have emerged this week citing that C&S Wholesale Grocers may purchase 400 or more stores as part of the merger of Kroger and Albertsons. While details have been scant, indications exist that this is a serious deal. It was first reported via Bloomberg Tuesday evening that C&S, with the backing of Japanese Financial Institution SoftBank, planned to purchase these stores, with the possibility of the deal being publically announced by the end of this week. Houston’s connection to C&S is their 2014 purchase of locally owned Grocers Supply Co. While their investment is coming on nearly ten years, only …

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Retail News: Joe V’s debuts a new HEB emphasizing logo for new stores

Old on the top, new on the bottom. Source: Joe V's Facebook

Houston’s own Joe V’s Smart Shop debuted a new logo seemingly in anticipation of its debut in DFW. The new logo for Joe V’s emphasizes the connection with their parent company by adding “by HEB” at the bottom of the logo. The addition strikes a comparison to the grocery giant’s entry in Houston. When debuting in the Bayou City under the name “HEB Pantry Foods,” emphasis was placed on the “Pantry Foods” portion of the name. However, the connection to the somewhat known grocer was made by many locals who shortened the name long before it was done officially. Anecdotally, …

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A Foodarama Going out of Business Sale: Part 2

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today, we’re taking a second look at the now-closed Foodarama at Wilcrest and W. Bellfort. We last visited this store a week ago, with photos I took days after its closing was announced. HHR fan htownjake took the pictures for today on the day of closing. Picking up where we left off last time, let’s finish up the history. As we’d left it, Safeway had entered the area as a “neighborhood grocer,” the first in a sea of highway-based stores attempting to draw people up the Southwest Freeway. Safeway’s choice of location was …

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Random Retail: Scraps from Otto’s and other stories

My Uncle was a regular at the bar and hamburger portion of the original Otto's. We would go quite often, I didn't even know the BBQ was a bigger draw until I got my drivers license!

Howdy folks, and welcome to HHR. Today it’s a Random Retail post! Random Retail posts are things that either don’t fit directly into HHR, or don’t make it into a full story. Today we’ll have some quick vignettes, but very little text. I hope you enjoy this edition of Random Retail! Tuesday Evening Galavanting down T.C. Jester A stop for some sweets at CornerStore, I mean Circle K… Stopping at Taco Cabana for a burrito Goodbye Otto’s you’ll be missed

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A Foodarama Going out of Business Sale: Part 1

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we’re starting Part 1 of a Two-Part goodbye for the Wilcrest and W Bellfort, Foodarama. In this series, we’re looking at two sets of photos a week apart. In this post, the photos were taken by me one week before this location’s closing (August 11th). The second post will include photos taken the day the store closed. Before we talk about the going out of business sale, let’s talk about the history of this store. This entire shopping center was built initially for Safeway. The land the store sits on …

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Church’s Chicken and restoring the Hill Country

Howdy folks, today we’re taking a look at how a tiny abandoned Church’s Chicken in Houston connects to the restoration of the Hill Country. Specifically, we’re looking at the Church’s on Highway 6 in Mission Bend. It’s been an eye-catcher for years for anyone in retail fanning. The itty-bitty store comes in at around 500 Square Feet; this postage stamp of a restaurant was designed for efficiency, and it has an interesting story. To tell it though, we need to start with some history, Church’s was founded in San Antonio in 1952 by Bill Church. The original location was a …

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Oh Fudd, What in the world happened to Fuddruckers?

Things are looking down for Fuddruckers in Houston right now. Three locations are temporarily closed, and one looks like it may not return. In our last Fuddsdate, we covered two Fuddruckers locations’ first “temporary” closure. Unfortunately, a third location, the former Fuddruckers adjacent to Luby’s on S. MacGregor, has recently closed its doors, at least temporarily. The Fuddruckers near Greenway Plaza, which has been closed since June, has had its doors and windows boarded up. Large signs have also been placed on both sides of the property, advertising it as “available.” The online listing mentions that a ground lease for …

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A look at the final Houston Weingarten, and the chain’s downfall

Before H-E-B, before Randalls, Houston was ruled by a different grocery chain. Even before Kroger or franchises like Minimax and Lucky 7, there was a grocer many of us still know by name, Weingarten’s. Shutting down most operations 40 years ago, it’s incredible that so many still have such a fond place in their heart for Weingarten’s. Why did people love Weingarten’s so much, well, that’s a complicated question, but the answer is mainly in the company’s history. Weingarten’s started out as a local grocer next to Houston’s Market Square in the early 1900s, just as “grocery shopping” was becoming …

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Retail News: Foodarama to close Wilcrest location after 36 years

Word on the street is that Foodarama has lost its lease in the Wilcrest and W. Bellfort shopping center. Based on a few HHR fans who reached out and postings online, it seems the store’s final day will be this Friday, August 11th. The facility was initially constructed in 1973 for Safeway, who served the neighborhood until 1987. This location was dropped towards the end of the reorganization, which would form AppleTree. It would come under the control of Cox’s Foodarama, reopening by the end of the year. According to permits filed online, a new Star Stop Gas Station is …

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What happened to Dirt Cheap?

Over the past few months, Mississippi-based “extreme value” retailer Dirt Cheap has closed 13 of its 15 remaining Texas locations. In an article released by The Marshall News Messenger back in April, Channel Control Merchants (the owner of Dirt Cheap) informed the employees of their Marshall-based warehouse that the company would shut down its Texas warehouse and all but two Texas stores by May. This news shocked some as Channel Control Merchants was on an expansion kick over the past few years after an investment from KKR in 2015. For those not in the know, Dirt Cheap’s merchandise consists completely …

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