Category: Gas Stations

A Tour of Tomball Retail in 2000 and 1965

Welcome to Tomball in 1965! (Captured from the Texas Archive of the Moving Image)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Loyal Houston Historic Retail readers may recall that a few weeks ago, we published a blog post showing screenshots from a YouTube video published by Dan Starr and filmed by his wife Amy that showed Tomball’s retail scene in the year 1998. Well, Dan has come through once again as he recently uploaded some video footage taken by Amy and her father in the year 2000. This footage, which was taken right after Y2K, shows some of the retailers from the 1998 video in greater …

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A Speedway Gas Station in Texas? It’s more common than you think!

The Speeedway Cafe sign, a beacon in the night for cheap reliable gas station food

For those in the know of Speedway, the Houston area isn’t a market you’d expect to find the chain in. Even after an aggressive expansion campaign that landed the chain with a handful of stores in and around El Paso, H-Town is far from Speedway’s turf. The reason for the location of the store is due to the previous parent company of Speedway, Marathon Oil. The first Speedway to be built in Texas, actually dates all the way back to the previous Melinium, yes 1999. When Speedway opened its first location outside of the Midwest, a Travel Center conveniently located …

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A guess at why Circle K has had trouble lately in Houston

Howdy folks and I’m glad you’ve found yourself back at HHR. Today we’re talking about what’s likely to become a local issue within the next few years, the underperformance of Circle K. Depending on your age, you may remember the giant red K’s, first go at Houston. Despite being founded in El Paso during the 1950s, Circle K has never had an easy go of Houston. Their first attempt at expanding here started in 1983 with their purchase of U-Tote-M Food Stores, from an insurance company that had purchased them as an investment. However, the iconic Totem Poles weren’t immediately …

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A Tour of Tomball Retail in 1998

Welcome To Tomball! (Captured with permission from Dan Starr)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Tomball might seem like just another Houston suburb today, but nearly a quarter of a century ago in 1998, Tomball was a bit of a distant place to visit even for those of us like myself who lived in the Northwest Houston suburbs in the Willowbrook Mall area. That said, I did visit Tomball quite frequently in the 1990s and through the turn of the Millennium period. Given that, what a surprise it was recently when I came across a video on YouTube posted by …

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Retail News: Circle K Quietly disposes of 4 Houston locations to newcomer Prime Spot

Strange things are afoot at a few Houston area Circle K locations as they begin to rebrand as Prime Spot. The brand is a new one, with their operations mainly consisting of wholesaling fuel prior to this point. Circle K made its reentry into Houston during a 2018 conversion spree, after purchasing the CornerStore chain of C-Stores in 2016, which had recently been spun off by Valero. Many of these Corner Store locations came from Diamond Shamrock’s acquisition of Stop n Go, with a good number of stores dating back to the 1970s as various independents. While some of these …

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Exxon left this On the Run, now it’s time for Star Stop’s story

What a galaxy indeed!

Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today we’re taking a break from the norm, and talking about Star Stop. Now that’s a name that doesn’t come up well… anywhere really, and if you don’t recognize it I don’t blame you. The company operates ~115 gas stations and C-Stores, mostly in and around Houston, with a small presence in San Antonio and Austin as well. The stores are mostly former chains that have been snapped up in bulk, and many still retain whatever decor their former owners left behind. Also, from what I can tell, they’re the largest Houston-owned C-Store …

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Raceway to 7-Eleven the saga continues

The new signage was the first update, likely due to the length of time required to get sign permits

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we’re taking another look at what has become the agonizingly slow transformation of Houston’s Raceway stations in 7-Eleven stores. In early 2021 the Raceway/Racetrac affiliation in Houston came to an abrupt end after over 25 years. Initially, the first stores opened were company-owned Racetrac locations. These gas stations specialized in discount private label gasoline, supplemented by streamlined C-Store operations. With locations featuring a small Made to Order grill, in addition to what would be classified as the bare essentials to be considered a C-Store. Prices of C-Store items were not …

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Vintage Texas Retail Videos in 1080p from the Jones Film Collection

Kroger Superstore Produce Department, 1977 (Image sourced from WFAA-TV/SMU Jones Film Collection, April 7, 1977)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Those who have been reading Houston Historic Retail for some period of time know that I did a two-part series (Part I and II) in early 2021 about the excellent retail videos available at The Portal of Texas History website operated by the University of North Texas Library. Most of the videos at The Portal were supplied by Dallas-Fort Worth TV station KXAS-TV. Well, another Dallas Metroplex university library, the Southern Methodist University Library, also has a collection of videos in their G. William Jones …

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There’s news round the corner! Gas Station coming to Former Walgreens Highway 6 and Westheimer

The cannopies are what caught my eye driving by on Highway 6, I did not intended to take this photos.

Howdy Folks, and welcome back to some retail news at the corner of Highway 6 and Westheimer. It seems that two shopping centers, at the crossroads, are coming closer to 100% occupancy again for the first time in nearly 20 years! This intersection has long been considered to essentially be a no-mans lands in terms of retail. Beyond West Oaks Mall’s initial success which is long gone, the two power centers sitting catty corner both managed to maintain decent tenancy, but have more recently struggled. With the Village at West Oaks (Northwest Corner) losses included longtime anchors Barnes & Noble …

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

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)

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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