Category: Random Retail

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

Laynes Chicken Fingers, have we been barking up the wrong tree this whole time?

Howdy readers! Let me start off today’s tale by telling you that I am a huge fan of Raising Cane’s. In 2005, I had a summer job in the Alief area, and was introduced to the wonder that was Raising Canes. I wasn’t so much drawn in by what I now know was the second location in the state (and the oldest still open), I wasn’t drawn by the elements imported from the original Baton Rouge location (cheetah print, LSU colors, and the mural), or even the ridiculous props on the wall like builders helmets, giant sockeye fish, and parody …

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It was a Bright day which made exterior photos very difficult, but this build doesn't much resemble a "normal" Luby's anyway

An “after-life” look at a Lubys that was originally called Romana

Cafeterias are a Southern specialty. Born out of the efficiency of self-serve prepared food, by utilizing a limited service concept, they were staples of the 20th Century. The cafeteria allowed families to quickly and cheaply feed an entire family. This was one of the major selling point early on, cafeterias were cheap. The quality of the food was below an average dine-in restaurant of the time, but still far above even the earliest incarnations of fast food. The first Luby’s Cafeteria as we have known them started around 1947 in San Antonio, by Robert Luby. The majority of the existing …

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This was originally one of the mid 2000s "Lego Style" Stripes locations, that looked like it was made of building blocks.

Stripes begin to fade as the 7-Eleven conversions push on

Howdy folks, let’s get started today by a simple recap of how 7-Eleven entered Houston (the second time). After exiting in the 1980s & 1990s, Houston was notably absent of most chain gas stations, including 7-Eleven and Circle K. Throughout the next 25 years this would be the norm, until 7-Eleven began exploring our town around 2012, with their purchase of Tetco and Speedy Stop locations, around the metropolitan area but not within city limits. Although they retained their original branding for a while, these were some of the first stores to reopen as 7-Eleven around 2015. A year later, …

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The doors to the mall were non-functional which leads me to believe it's mostly closed.

There’s a dead mall in Stafford you probably didn’t know about

Howdy folks and welcome back, we seem to be getting to a great diehard core of readers here, and I’m really happy about that! I want to take a moment to thank the folks who keep coming back to read and share my content. Please keep reading, sharing, and commenting, that’s what keeps me going! Moving on to today’s topic, I’ll warn you up front, this is NO HIDDEN GEM, this is not a mall that has been open for years, and is now slowly finally dying off. This is a failed experiment and meets the bare minimum of what …

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Permit Roundup: Otto’s on Durham won’t be an Otto’s, Exclusive Furniture to replace Former West Oaks Barnes & Nobles, and other retail goings on!

Otto’s on Durham, isn’t going to be an Otto’s At 903 Durham, a permit has been filed for a build out of a new restaurant, which was first envisioned back in 2018. When originally pitched, the new combined lot, was meant to serve as a combination catering kitchen, and BBQ restaurant. The venture was undertaken by the current owners of the Otto’s locations remaining in Houston, and the restaurant was pitched with the Otto’s name and logo prominently displayed on the building. Despite all this flash and show, at some point the name was changed to Doc’s Smokehouse, and if …

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Once inside you're greeted with a tightly packed storefront, with no defined path. This was one of the worst experiences I've had trying to get around a store, since I was old enough to see over the boxes!

This decor still provides service “Merchandise”, at American Freight

Let’s start off today with a little history of 2665 S Texas 6, Houston, TX 77082. If you’re too young to remember, Service Merchandise was one of the final catalog showroom chains in the U.S., and one of the last to operate in Houston. Their entry into Houston came via acquiring another company named, Wilson’s. Most locations were built next to Office Depot stores, although I’m not sure which chain to trace this to. Service Merchandise was known for selling relatively high quality merchandise at decent prices. While they weren’t a discounter by any stretch, they had pretty nice stuff, …

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Believe it or not, the Food and Drugs signs are likely original from Safeway, although they would have been red.

Lake Jackson just can’t keep a dang grocery store!

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 …

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The Gym and a couple of other tenants had obviously gone out of business, but most everything the the former Wal-Mart is open.

Random Retail: Two out of place Big Box Retailers, and Two former Burger Joints

Welcome folks, today we’ve got another edition of Random Retail! This week we have a heavy emphasis on a former Wal-Mart, but not enough that it warrants its own post. If you’ve never experienced Random Retail before, well it’s basically a dump of photos I’ve taken that don’t really fit in with anything else I’m doing at the moment. A good portion of these Random Retail photos come from former Wal-Mart #597 at 7075 FM 1960 W., Houston, TX 77069. I had originally planned to go a bit more in-depth on the location, but found myself lacking any good photos …

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This was no doubt a BIG store probably around 50,00 Sq ft.

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 …

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Yes it's real a Stripes in a former Buc-ee's

A journey through Buc-ee’s turbulent youth

A quick aside before we begin today’s post. There was an excellent online review I read a while back that somewhat inspired me to write this post. It taxonomized Buc-ee’s locations by size, giving two examples “Baby Beaver” to describe the original stores in Lake Jackson, and Adolescent stores to describe ones like the store off 290 on Muschkee Road. For this post I propose adding a few more classifications to the taxonomy. A “Papa Beaver” store as the original “small” Travel Centers eg: Luling, and the “Grandaddy Beaver” stores, the Mega Travel Centers like New Braunfels. What’s your earliest …

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