Category: Random Retail

Anything related to retail that doesn’t fit anywhere else.

The future of Dollar Stores at a former Gerland’s

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today, we’re looking at a former Gerlands and touching on the question of the future of dollar stores in Houston, given 99 Cents Only’s pending exit. We will get to that question, but let’s start with some history. The King Dollar at 2555 Gessner Rd, Houston, TX 77080, started life in 1969 as the newest branch of Gerland’s Food Fair. While the store is often misidentified as a …

Read more

Retail News: Former 59 Diner spot to be reborn as newest Pinkertons BBQ

Houston staple Pinkerton’s Barbecue announced recently that they’re in the works to bring the former home of 59 Diner back online as their newest location. The building, which is best remembered as either the long-term home of 59 Diner or its predecessor, Phil’s Restaurant, is actually much older than either. The structure was built in 1950 by Guy Francis, a known Houston restauranteur who operated it under various names, including Guy Francis’ Flame House. It …

Read more
Nicholas Eckhart

The time that Rax came to Texas

Editor’s Note: Today’s photos come courtesy of  HHR Contributor billytheskink Rax Roast Beef is an interesting topic; they never operated in Houston but certainly came close. Chances are, as well, if you’re a retail fan and reading this, you’re at least somewhat aware of Rax’s existence. It’s one of the few stories to make it into the mainstream, and honestly, in my opinion, for the wrong reasons. For some background, Rax was founded as Jax …

Read more

Retail News: Avalon Diner & Shanghai River may soon be under offices

It looks like the retail center housing long-time Upper Kirby favorites Avalon Diner and Shanghai River may soon be demolished for a 14-story office tower. The situation seems to have first come to light on HAIF last week. While the demolition of the building is not yet set, Trammel Crow and CBRE have launched a website detailing their plans for the tower, which include multiple offices, parking, and ground-floor retail. While this ground-floor retail includes …

Read more

Whole Foods; Whole Decor, Midtown’s Great Loss of 2023

Supermarket Decor is not something we have an excess of in Houston. In fact, in a talk with Randall Onstead, I had a while back, we discussed the declining role of style and looks in grocery. Randall expressed that there was a disconnect between the older generations, who valued looks and feel, and modern shoppers, who were price-conscious above anything else. The emphasis on everyday low prices means grocery shopping really isn’t what it once …

Read more
A 99 Cents Only Store in Sacramento, CA Photo Credit: Thomas Hawk

Retail News: 99 Cents Only Stores to exit Houston as part of company liquidation

Just over a week after Bloomberg News wrote about 99 Cent Only Stores potentially filing bankruptcy, news has broken that the chain will instead window business complete sometime shortly. According to the Chain Store Age article that broke the news, liquidation sales are set to begin today at all 371 locations. Of these stores, 51 are located in Texas, making it 99 Cents Only’s second-largest market, behind its home state of California. The deep discounter …

Read more

Retail News: Another Fudds bites the dust!

Another Fuddruckers “corporate-owned” location in the Houston area has shut down in the past couple of weeks. The location at 11445 Fountain Lake Dr, Stafford, TX 77477, was shut down just prior to a lockout by the landlord for missing multiple months’ rent, according to a sign posted on the door. While a handwritten sign from the Fudds crew indicated this was a temporary closure, the sad wording makes it seem like this may not …

Read more

Retail News: Food Town leaves former Auchan as a new grocer prepares to move in

The Food Town location at 8800 West Sam Houston Parkway in the former Auchan closed just over a week ago. The closure was announced, but it was a bit unexpected by the Houston retail community. HHR visited the store last week to investigate what was going on with the space. When Auchan closed in 2003, Grocers Supply Co. purchased and subdivided the building, with about half the space going to Food Town. As far as …

Read more

Retail News: GFS opened a new Galveston Island Store this week

GFS, Gordon Food Service, opened its newest retail outlet in the greater Houston area on March 26th. The new location, located at 2402 45th St, Galveston, TX 77550, is the first bulk store on the Island and the first new grocery chain to arrive since HEB’s stint in the former Safeway (1990-2008). This new GFS location actually takes the place of a Gerland’s, which closed over 20 years ago. This store will also be the …

Read more

Taco Bueno Houston; lights are on but nobody home!

Things haven’t been going well for Taco Bueno since they decided to return to Houston in 2020. Taco Bueno’s first go in Houston lasted from 1979-1988 and culminated with five locations throughout the city and only one in a suburb (Katy). This first go-around was all company-owned outlets, and to Taco Bueno’s credit, they had spent almost ten years at a few locations before pulling the plug. Taco aficionados tend to compare the chain with …

Read more