Category: Gas Stations

Vintage Aerial's photos may not be stored in a Kmart Focal Photo Box, but this post will contain a link to a photo of a Kmart! (Anonymous in Houston)

Digging through the Photo Box: 1980s Houston Retail On Vintage Aerial

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Every so often, someone in the retail enthusiast community will stumble upon great sources of retail history in unlikely or hidden corners of the Internet. Loyal Houston Historic Retail readers will know that in just the last few months, we’ve managed to find a large repository of retail news videos clips at The Portal to Texas History website and we also found a large collection of retail annual reports at the Internet Archive. Friend of the HHR blog and fellow retail blogger South Texas Retail …

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This Week in Demolition: Retroactive Permits? No Timewise better than the present for Zuma Fun Center!

Howdy Folks, and welcome back to another edition of This Week in Demolition! If you showed up last week wondering where the demo post was, I do apologize, but such are the perils of what is mostly a one-man operation. You can always check Houston Historic Retail’s Facebook page for more information on missing posts. Interesting demolitions this week include the shell station at Chimney Rock, and 59. Originally a Mobil Owned and Operated Station, later being flipped to a Shell, along with many other Mobil stations around 1992. Shell would drop this station in 2008, selling it along with …

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I'm almost positive the large ads above the pumps were a Conoco addition

Lake Oil Co, a lesson in identifying old gas stations in Texas!

Old gas stations are not an expertise of mine. I like to look at them well enough! Especially, when they’re still operating as a modern gas station, but I don’t know too much about them. When you look at most of the companies and stores represented on this website, I chronicle their existence in the conscious mindset (so from the 60s forward really). This is mostly because retailing has expanded quite a bit over the years. This particular gas station was likely built in the 1920s, and think about it like this, how many people still shop in grocery stores …

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Permit Roundup: New chains, meet old locations

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to another edition of Permit Roundup! Today we’re taking a look at a few retail developments throughout the Houston area. Let’s start off with some newcomers to town. It seems that the Post Oak California Pizza Kitchen, who closed their Texas outlets during a COVID induced bankruptcy, may be host to a new restaurant. Il Braco, a noteworthy Dallas Italian restaurant, has filed remodel permits at 1705 Post Oak Boulevard after announcing their intent to build a second location in Houston. While this is a few digits of CPK’s address, the only other vacant restaurant …

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The Circle K at 5101 Gulfton, has been a stop for me since it was a Stop n Go! This location opened in the late 80s

It’s been how many years since Circle K bought our Corner Store?!

In 1977 the Valero Energy Corporation was formed by the State of Texas, as a successor to a failed natural gas transmission company that Coastal had set up years prior. In connection with the Texas Railroad Authority (nothing to do with railroads), Coastal was allowed to build a multi thousand-mile set of pipelines, that supplied natural gas to city utilities. Most large Texas cities were tied into the Coastal system, with the unobtainable promise that prices would never rise. Then the Energy Crisis of the 70s hit, natural gas prices skyrocketed and all of a sudden Coastal’s pipeline subsidiary was …

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This was originally one of the mid 2000s "Lego Style" Stripes locations, that looked like it was made of building blocks.

Stripes begin to fade as the 7-Eleven conversions push on

Howdy folks, let’s get started today by a simple recap of how 7-Eleven entered Houston (the second time). After exiting in the 1980s & 1990s, Houston was notably absent of most chain gas stations, including 7-Eleven and Circle K. Throughout the next 25 years this would be the norm, until 7-Eleven began exploring our town around 2012, with their purchase of Tetco and Speedy Stop locations, around the metropolitan area but not within city limits. Although they retained their original branding for a while, these were some of the first stores to reopen as 7-Eleven around 2015. A year later, …

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The Ike's Super Mario Sandwhich. Photo Credit: Wilis Lam

Permit Roundup: Visitors abound: Mr. Potato drops in from New Orleans, and Happy Lemon from China!

Newcomers enter into Houston Howdy, folks, and welcome back to our regularly scheduled Permit Roundup! This week seems to have been relatively quiet as far as new filings go. However, we do have a few standouts, so let’s start with those. Two “out of town” restaurants have filed permits to build locations in Houston. One of these is Mr. Potato. The restaurant concept was born over in New Orleans originally as a food truck, opening their first brick and mortar location in 2020. An article earlier this year from Nola.com gives a good rundown on the chain, but the idea …

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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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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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