Category: Gas Stations

Retail News: Biglari is back! – The return of Steak N Shake to Houston

The great fast food hamburger debate has so many sides: loyal Texans stumping for local Whataburger, west coast transplants singing the virtues of interloping In-N-Out, those squares who like Wendy’s.  These sides have their merits, but I found my favorite fast food burger to be the midwestern-style steakburger, smashed flat with crispy edges, the cheese melted into the thin patty so completely that the two are practically an alloy.  Specifically (and with apologies to Kansas-based Freddy’s and their many Houston-area locations), I came to love the steakburgers from Illinois-founded Steak N Shake. While it has long been an institution in …

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Retail News: The gas station in an ex-Walgreens near West Oaks Mall, finally opens! Welcome Now & Forever Plus

The gas prices here were pretty cheap compared to other stations on 6

Well, folks, the day has finally come. The former Walgreens at Westheimer and Highway 6 has reopened. This will mark the building’s first permanent retail tenant since closing as a pharmacy around 2017. Now and Forever also marks the return of a gas station to this intersection. Before the most recent expansion of Highway 6, every corner of the intersection, except the mall, hosted a gas station. This gas station, however, aims to be a bit different. The space is huge, and while some area was built out around the checkout, I would wager that 3/4 of the former Walgreens …

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Now & Taking Forever, who’s behind the new Walgreen’s Gas Station on Highway 6?

Update 7/17/22: Over 2 weeks later, I realized that a draft version of this was published, well the full thing is here now! Anyone whose driven near West Oaks Mall recently has probably seen the work being done to a former Walgreens building at the corner of Westheimer and Highway 6. If you’ve been following this blog for a while you may have seen the building before. We checked it out in 2019 as a Spirit Halloween, and more recently when the pumps were installed last year. If you don’t know Now & Forever they about 10 stores throughout the …

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Final “non-Beaver, Bucky’s disappears from Houston after Star Stop purchase

All the old signage has been removed, there was a large Bucky's logo on the tower

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we have some surprising news. The Bucky’s Express Gas Stations Houston’s locations have finally crumbled. This should not provide a huge shock to anyone who follows C-Store news, as Bucky’s was purchased by competitor Casey’s just over a year ago. Initially, it seemed the plan moving forward was to convert the locations into Casey’s stores. It would make sense, as Casey’s is now the third-largest C-Store chain in the U.S. However, the Houston locations were always outliers to what were otherwise two Midwestern chains. By the end of 2021 when …

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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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