My heart always drops a little bit when I hear about a former Safeway shutting down for good. It’s amazing that stores built in the 1970s are still operating as grocery stores, that’s the equivalence of someone in the 2000s shopping at a store that opened in 1950, not impossible but largely unheard as by that point the supermarkets that had been built would be outsized in only a few years. The Lake Jackson Safeway has a somewhat complicated history, or multiple operators having either short bursts of success or measurable failures. Some of this may have to do with …Keep reading
Posts Relating to Grocery Stores
A former Safeway with a split personality
When a grocery store closes, it’s not unusual for the space to be subdivided. Over the course of the 20th century, supermarkets became larger and larger, aiming for a broader range. Today’s example is a former Safeway located at 2028 N Main St in Pearland. Holding their grand opening November 11, 1979, the new Safeway was one of Houston’s earliest purpose built superstore locations. The breadth of items available was everything you’d find in a grocery store, a 5 & Dime, and still a little bit more! For example, you could buy small appliances, TVs, socks, shoes, plumbing, and electrical …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
The not so great, Foodarama Shrinkorama!
Cox’s Foodarama is an independent grocery chain operating out of Houston, Texas, with 8 locations in operation as of this post. The chain simply goes by the name Foodarama in all local matters, but uses their founder’s (Carol Cox) last name to differentiate from the many other grocery stores in the U.S. using Foodarama. During the early days of the net, the confusion mostly came from New Jersey based Foodarama Supermarkets, which has since stopped trading under that name. The chain was founded in 1973, in a building with an already storied history. Having been built by Belden’s when they …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
Retail News: Foodarama sells another former Safeway, and Village Medical comes closer to achieving goal
Foodarama Sells Another Former Safeway According to the Houston Chronicle, property developer Baker Katz has acquired the former Safeway at 1805 Ella Boulevard, which is currently occupied by Cox’s Foodarama. The building was originally constructed as two separate structures, with Safeway forming the right side, and Eckerd forming the left. (Shout out to Anonymous in Houston for figuring that one out!) As such, the two properties were under separate ownership and have remained as such even when Safeway expanded their store into the former Eckerd. Baker Katz acquired the Eckerd portion of the property in 2016, and in May of …Keep reading
The Randall’s 1987 Food Fest
Today we’ll be taking a look at the 1987-88 Randall’s Food Almanac. What is a Food Almanac, you might ask? Well, it’s a year round collection of recipes, paired with coupons and vintage advertisements. Using a Food Almanac as advertising was not unique to Randall’s, but its debut was tied to a much bigger event, The 1987 Randall’s Food Fest. This was the third year of the newest celebration Randall’s had to offer. From samples of in store products, to chef created dinners, the Food Fest not only provided a gourmet experience, but for most Houstonians their first glimpse into …Keep reading
Alvin Antique Center & Marketplace and Getting to the Bottom of Bottom Dollar Stores
Blog post and captions written by: Anonymous in Houston Photos taken by: Mike Researched by: Mike & Anonymous in Houston One thing I like to do when I have some free time is to poke around on Google Maps to see if I can spot any interesting retailers in areas that I don’t visit very often. I was recently browsing the Alvin aerial map to see if I could spot anything interesting. For those unfamiliar with Houston, Alvin is a small community in the far southern part of the Houston metro area. I spotted a big box retail looking building …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