Category: Rice Epicurean

Antique Pavilion in 1960s Randall’s to some come down

The awning was added by one of the antique stores

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, I have some sad news. An “Upper Kirby” landmark, the Antique Pavilion, and surrounding businesses will soon be demolished as part of a redevelopment of the block. Before we talk about the building’s future, let’s first discuss its past. The current structure at 2311 Westheimer was initially built by Randall’s in 1965. This location was not built by the Randall’s you’re probably thinking about, but rather the original Randall’s founded in 1946 by A.P. Randall. At that time, the chain was purchased by Blocker Martin, who expanded the single store …

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Spec’s Epicurean Experience, more groceries than you might think!

Cheers, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re taking an inside look at the Spec’s in the former Rice Epicurean at 2020 Fountain View. For those who follow the blog, you know this is a store I have been excited to see. I have fond memories of Rice and a close tie to the company, so I was excited to hear that Spec’s would take over this location. While not precisely a grocer, I knew that Spec’s would not change much about the space’s physical layout. As well, right around the time Rice closed, rumors began to swirl …

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Rice looks good in Red, how Spec’s is coming along

Howdy, everyone, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we have our second installment of Rice Epicurean’s Post Mortum inSpec’stion. After Rice Epicurean closed in July (you don’t think I’d have to mention that again, but the number of confused Rice Customers that stopped in the minutes it took to capture these photos speaks otherwise), the building and pretty much everything remaining inside. In our first check-in about two weeks ago, the building still mostly resembled Rice inside and out. However, as of this week, the interior is beginning to look pretty “Specsy”! As HHR contributor Anonymous in Houston …

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A postmortem in-Spec’s-tion of Rice Epicurean

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR! Today we’re checking in on the former final Rice Epicurean. After closing late last July, Rice left nearly everything in the store without their name on it, for new tenant Spec’s. While I attempted to reach out to Spec’s about plans for their future store, I did not hear back. At the moment, nothing has been changed structure-wise, and as of this article, I couldn’t find any permits to suggest that any construction will occur. The biggest modifications so far seem to be the movement of fixtures and updating of shelving. The shelves …

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So long Rice, and thanks for all the Epicuriousness

The windows were covered with stucco years back

After nearly 85 years of operation, the final Rice Grocery store will close its doors for good today. While this isn’t coming out of the blue, it’s still a sad event to have to witness. While many of us remember Rice as the exotic Epicurean chain, the company served many people of many different backgrounds under many different names during its tenure. The building that housed this final Epicurean location will once again find another use, this time as a Spec’s location. Rice staff had mentioned there might be something special about this new Spec’s, but what exactly it is, …

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Eagle Discount Supermarket’s decor is still flying under the radar!

The in wall clock is still kicking, although the time wasn't right!

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. We take a lot of time to investigate retail remnants, bits, and pieces of former stores left behind, they’re always interesting to find. Whether it’s an old drive-thru post still in use by Burger King, or the arches of a Safeway store proudly fronting a Fiesta. Finding these retail remnants is almost like finding bits of a story. One of the reasons I so greatly enjoy maintaining this blog is because while researching, I often run across retail remnants, that I didn’t know still exist. Today’s store at 5708 S Gessner …

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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 …

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Rice Epicurean, taking the term chain to the extremes

The chain, Rice Epicurean, is the result of many adaptions and “mutations” of a family-owned grocery store originally named “Rice Boulevard Food Market”. You can read more about the history of the chain overall on my Rice Epicurean Store Page. This post takes a brief look at the chain as it stands today, with one store, and six former properties. Rice Epicurean #201 | 2500 Rice Boulevard The original Rice Boulevard Food Market opened in 1937. It took on its name from the street the store was originally located on, Rice Boulevard. It was at the heart of the shopping center …

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