Category: Gas Stations

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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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: A testament to our lack of Zoning Laws!

Houston is a city without zoning laws, and while that’s not news to most, it’s something Houstonians don’t generally encounter issues with. Through a mishmash of other regulations, NGOs, and other bureaucracy we’re able to have Houston maintain a pretty good facade of being a normal city. Except for the times when it’s not, like when the owner of 7624 McHenry decided his residential lot was the perfect place for new multiunit 2-floor apartments. Or how a densely packed neighborhood has developed around one of Houston’s Juvenile Detention Centers. These decisions were not made without forethought, by the 50s Gulfgate …

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Kmart Electronics Alcove, 1987

Through the Annals: A Guide to Retail History in Annual Reports

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Researching the operations of a publicly traded company here in the 21st century is most certainly not a very difficult thing.  After all, there are numerous reports about companies available through their own websites and through various websites that can all be accessed very quickly.  However, those who were around before the rise of the World Wide Web might remember that it was quite difficult to obtain information about companies back in the day.  One thing which could be requested from libraries or by contacting …

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Continuing in the area former Midtown Fiesta continues to sit empty, although renovation is supposedly nearly complete.

Random Retail: 4 Gas Stations, and Quite a bit more!

Welcome back to another post loyal reader! Oh man, it’s really been a while since we’ve done a Random Retail post. For anyone new here, Random Retail is essentially me going through my camera roll and posting anything I had a chance to take a photo of but have not had a chance to post. This quite often proves to be a reader favorite since, you never know what you’ll end up with! Well lets go ahead and dive in! Well folks, it’s been a fun one this week. I hope you enjoyed the excess of photos, stay tuned and …

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The soda signage is by far my favorite. The blue tinge on the Coke cans put this photo after the New Coke Scandal, but the Caffeine Free Pepsi means this is likely from the 80s

A 90s Texaco Star Mart trapped inside of a 2021 Exxon

I was recently on my way home from work when I noticed my car was almost completely out of gas. I’m usually pretty good about filling up, but hadn’t driven in a while and needed to quickly refill my tank. It was pouring down rain, and I was not on a major road, so I found the nearest gas station I could and quickly stopped. While filling up my tank I noticed an unusual sign on the door of the gas station. It was advertising a line of sodas known as “Exotic Pop”. If you’re not familiar with Exotic Pop, …

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