Howdy folks, and welcome back to a Demolition Update (This is not a full Demolition List, as that is still on hiatus due to lack of time). Today we’re taking a look at what was, up until a few months ago, the premiere Bingo Hall in Garden Oaks. Unfortunately, it seems that this former supermarket is about to meet the fate of a good number of the area’s original homes. Sitting at 641 W Crosstimbers St, Houston, TX 77018, the structure was built in 1974 by the Kroger Company. This was not Kroger’s first store in the Garden Oaks area, …Keep reading
Online shopping at Gerland’s and other unique Houston grocers from 1989-90
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Houston was an interesting place in around 1989 and 1990. The economy, both locally and nationally, was a bit sluggish at the time. Locally, the area was still recovering from the problems facing the oil and gas industry throughout most of the 1980s. Given these problems, one might expect the local supermarket scene to be rather troubled as well, but that was not at all the case. Perhaps the most famous Houston supermarket story of 1989 was Boris Yeltsin’s famous visit to a Clear Lake-area …Keep reading
Weingarten Realty’s Annual Reports, a look into our not so distant retail past
Howdy folks, how many times have you encountered the word “Weingarten” in your life. If you’re a native Houstonian, then you probably know the name, to say the least. Houstonians of a certain era, will obviously remember the J. Weingarten grocery store chain. One of Houston’s first true supermarkets, starting out in the 1930s, Weingartens experienced an explosive growth post World War II. The family, who had initially only built freestanding grocery stores, quickly jumped on the property development bandwagon. By the 1960s the Weingarten Realty Corp was operating grocery stores in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, along with the shopping …Keep reading
What makes a Krogerstons special?
Howdy Folks! Hope everyone is doing well today, today let’s start off with a small vocabulary lesson. The following word was coined in conversation with a friend on mine. Krogerstons- (Noun) A Kroger store operating out of a former Albertsons; Esp. Those in the Houston Division. “Hey man, I saw Ray Childress down at the Krogerstons on Louetta, screaming something about cash for clunkers, and waving around a muffler”. Krogerstons make up a large number of Kroger stores throughout the Houston area. Although they are far outnumbered by Kroger built stores, and have a shrinking count every day, Krogerstons are …Keep reading
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.” …Keep reading
This Week in Demolition: While Disco Kroger boogies out of Montrose could an apartment tower be making its way in?
This Week in Demolition, we take a moment to ponder what it means when losing Taco Bell and Kroger sever your emotional ties to an area. Earlier this week there was a big buzz in local social media over a photo of the Taco Bell on South Shepherd being demolished, followed shortly after by a photo of an excavator sitting in front of the former “Disco Kroger“. The comments on the social media site I viewed were wrapped in how the loss of these two institutions signaled change in the area, and how this change affected their emotional ties. As …Keep reading
Exploring Vintage Ads: AIMing For The Best
Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston We aim to give you, the loyal reader, nothing but the very best content here at the Houston Historic Retail blog. With that in mind, here is the first entry in what could well be a new series where we will explore some vintage retail ads that are interesting and perhaps even relevant to Houston retail history. I thought it would be a good idea to examine some of the ads in a newspaper issue of the past to see what interesting retail history might …Keep reading
What was Ashcraft European Bakery?
I was driving through Stafford the other day for an upcoming post, and happened upon a building I didn’t recognize. Generally when I drive around I have a nice mental GPS going, if you will. I can envision what buildings, landmarks, etc.. are coming up and surrounding me. Not an extraordinary feature by any stretch of the imagination but as you can assume retail enthusiasts’ mental GPS’s have far more information related to buildings and landmarks than most other folks around us. That’s why I felt very caught off guard when I saw the Ashcraft European Bakery building. For many …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
Taking a trip to Grocery Stores of the Past (Part 1)
Editor’s note: In lieu of an April Fools prank this week’s post comes to us as a guest submission from commenter Anonymous in Houston. I’ll be back Sunday with the demo post -Mike! The Portal to Texas History website operated by the University of North Texas Libraries offers a tremendous database of primary historical resources including videos, newspapers, photographs, and more. While there is a lot at the Portal which might be relevant for those interested in retail history, I’ve found the videos at the Portal to be especially illuminating. Specifically, news clips from KXAS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Fort …Keep reading