Category: Department Stores

Ollie's as previously discovered decided to utilize the left side of the building, which required filling in Target's former auto service bays.

Retail News: Ollie’s holds grand opening, despite hurricane

Howdy folks, welcome to another edition of Retail News, and this week we have some good news! Ollie’s Bargain Outlet was able to hold their scheduled grand opening on Wednesday, September 15th, despite Hurricane Nicholas making landfall just a day before. It seems that so far Ollie’s is a hit! Fellow retail watcher, Anonymous in Houston, noted that nearly 50 photos has been posted on Google Reviews within hours of the grand opening. I had a chance to visit this long awaited Houston branch this previous weekend and found no lack of customers, however it seems that this is a …

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This entrance is just to the left of the food court entrance shown earlier. The eyebrow-shaped awning predates McDonald's recent fascination with the aesthetic by decades.

Happy Birthday First Colony Mall, sorry we sorta forgot!

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post, written by my favorite scincidae, billytheskink, is part two in our Month of Malls! Be sure to check out Part One! -Mike March 2021 came and went, and we failed to wish First Colony Mall well on its 25th birthday!  Sincere apologies for this egregious oversight.  Hopefully this belated happy birthday post full of photos and reminiscence (and also more photos!) from a Fort Bend County kid can in some small way help make up for this terrible mistake. A (kind of) Brief History Of The Mall While the mall itself opened on March 14, …

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Here's a mall entrance in between the Sears anchor and the old Montgomery Ward. The Forever 21 is where the old Luby's Cafeteria once was. In fact, the greenhouse you can faintly see off to the right by the tree was once part of the dining room. (Photo courtesy of Mike/HHR)

Happy 40th Anniversary, Willowbrook Mall!

Editor’s Note: Today we begin Houston Historic Retail’s Month of Malls! Our 3 Wednesday posts will feature all new Mall content! Lets start off Part One with Northwestern Houston Resident Expert Anonymous in Houston! -Mike Those who have visited the Willowbrook Mall area in Northwest Houston know that several words can be used to describe the territory, but ‘sleepy’ is probably not one of them in current times.  However, prior to the official opening of Willowbrook Mall on September 23, 1981 (though the original three anchors of Sears, Foley’s, and Montgomery Ward had all opened for business by September 2, …

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The former Landmark Chevrolet Truck Sales area is likely where a new Food Truck park will end up. Photo Credit: meltedplastic

Permit Roundup: Sugar Factory Express is coming to Houston, and Memorial City Target remodels

Howdy Folks, I hope Monday is treating you well so far! As far as new permits go this week, we’re not seeing too much but what we do have is yummy, so we’ll start with the new end with the old. Sugar Factory Express has filed a demolition permit for the space they’re moving into in Galleria I. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably never heard of Sugar Factory, much less their Express variant. So let’s talk a moment how this place ended up in the title this week. Sugar Factory seems to be an experiment in excess, it’s …

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This Carl's Jr. location closed along with all other in Houston in early 2020.

Permit Roundup: A new Raising Canes, a converted Dunkin’ Donuts, and a few others

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to another permit roundup! Last week, we unfortunately had to skip our permit roundup due to lack of content! So let’s start off with the only permit I really did skip over last week. 7-Eleven had filed building plans at 10670 W Little York Rd, Houston, TX 77041, which would put it opposite Beltway 8 from a Valero/Circle K. Moving onto this week, let’s start off with another new built structure. This one is a Raising Canes location which is coming to 13480 Northwest Fwy, Houston, TX 77040. The spot was previously occupied by Taco …

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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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One of the few Sears elements left, if barely, is where the escalators (supposedly the first ever in Houston) led down to the basement floor. Rice replaced the escalators with stairs, linked by a seating area for “TED Talks” given from the basement floor.

Eye on “The Ion” an inside look at the former Midtown Sears

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes to us from friend of the blog, and frequent commentor, billytheskink. While he self describes as a lizard, I find his writing to be vibrant as a Macaw. As a reader of a blog about historic Houston retail, you no doubt know that Rice University’s planned renovation of the former Midtown Sears at 4201 Main St. into a hub for innovation, technology, and entrepreneurship has been well underway.  The centerpiece of what was originally dubbed as the “Midtown Innovation District”, the building is now being referred to as “The Ion” and the surrounding area (including …

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The doors to the mall were non-functional which leads me to believe it's mostly closed.

There’s a dead mall in Stafford you probably didn’t know about

Howdy folks and welcome back, we seem to be getting to a great diehard core of readers here, and I’m really happy about that! I want to take a moment to thank the folks who keep coming back to read and share my content. Please keep reading, sharing, and commenting, that’s what keeps me going! Moving on to today’s topic, I’ll warn you up front, this is NO HIDDEN GEM, this is not a mall that has been open for years, and is now slowly finally dying off. This is a failed experiment and meets the bare minimum of what …

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The Gym and a couple of other tenants had obviously gone out of business, but most everything the the former Wal-Mart is open.

Random Retail: Two out of place Big Box Retailers, and Two former Burger Joints

Welcome folks, today we’ve got another edition of Random Retail! This week we have a heavy emphasis on a former Wal-Mart, but not enough that it warrants its own post. If you’ve never experienced Random Retail before, well it’s basically a dump of photos I’ve taken that don’t really fit in with anything else I’m doing at the moment. A good portion of these Random Retail photos come from former Wal-Mart #597 at 7075 FM 1960 W., Houston, TX 77069. I had originally planned to go a bit more in-depth on the location, but found myself lacking any good photos …

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Towards the end of their stay here most Safeways had adopted the pylon look as seen in Pearland

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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