Category: Random Retail

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

A Foodarama Going out of Business Sale: Part 1

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we’re starting Part 1 of a Two-Part goodbye for the Wilcrest and W Bellfort, Foodarama. In this series, we’re looking at two sets of photos a week apart. In this post, the photos were taken by me one week before this location’s closing (August 11th). The second post will include photos taken the day the store closed. Before we talk about the going out of business sale, let’s talk about the history of this store. This entire shopping center was built initially for Safeway. The land the store sits on …

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Church’s Chicken and restoring the Hill Country

Howdy folks, today we’re taking a look at how a tiny abandoned Church’s Chicken in Houston connects to the restoration of the Hill Country. Specifically, we’re looking at the Church’s on Highway 6 in Mission Bend. It’s been an eye-catcher for years for anyone in retail fanning. The itty-bitty store comes in at around 500 Square Feet; this postage stamp of a restaurant was designed for efficiency, and it has an interesting story. To tell it though, we need to start with some history, Church’s was founded in San Antonio in 1952 by Bill Church. The original location was a …

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Oh Fudd, What in the world happened to Fuddruckers?

Things are looking down for Fuddruckers in Houston right now. Three locations are temporarily closed, and one looks like it may not return. In our last Fuddsdate, we covered two Fuddruckers locations’ first “temporary” closure. Unfortunately, a third location, the former Fuddruckers adjacent to Luby’s on S. MacGregor, has recently closed its doors, at least temporarily. The Fuddruckers near Greenway Plaza, which has been closed since June, has had its doors and windows boarded up. Large signs have also been placed on both sides of the property, advertising it as “available.” The online listing mentions that a ground lease for …

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A look at the final Houston Weingarten, and the chain’s downfall

Before H-E-B, before Randalls, Houston was ruled by a different grocery chain. Even before Kroger or franchises like Minimax and Lucky 7, there was a grocer many of us still know by name, Weingarten’s. Shutting down most operations 40 years ago, it’s incredible that so many still have such a fond place in their heart for Weingarten’s. Why did people love Weingarten’s so much, well, that’s a complicated question, but the answer is mainly in the company’s history. Weingarten’s started out as a local grocer next to Houston’s Market Square in the early 1900s, just as “grocery shopping” was becoming …

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Randalbertsons: It’s Your Boomerang Albertsons Store Because The Locals Rejected Food Lion

As far as Houston Albertsons stores go, this location had a slightly more unique front façade than most. This might help hide the Albertsons origins of this store at first glance, but many of the classic Albertsons features such as the glass bricks and the cart alleyway exist here to give away the origins of this building.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston with the photos taken by Mike It has been 21 years since Albertsons left Houston in 2002, but longtime Houston Historic Retail readers know that Albertsons’ legacy is still strongly felt at various retailers around town. Perhaps this is most strongly felt at various Food Town stores where, as Albertsons Florida Blog has pointed out, ‘It’s Your Town’ looks a lot like ‘It’s Your Store’. Mike has done various recent posts about Food Towns operating in former well-preserved Albertsons such as the North Belt Food …

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Retail News: Foodarama to close Wilcrest location after 36 years

Word on the street is that Foodarama has lost its lease in the Wilcrest and W. Bellfort shopping center. Based on a few HHR fans who reached out and postings online, it seems the store’s final day will be this Friday, August 11th. The facility was initially constructed in 1973 for Safeway, who served the neighborhood until 1987. This location was dropped towards the end of the reorganization, which would form AppleTree. It would come under the control of Cox’s Foodarama, reopening by the end of the year. According to permits filed online, a new Star Stop Gas Station is …

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What happened to Dirt Cheap?

Over the past few months, Mississippi-based “extreme value” retailer Dirt Cheap has closed 13 of its 15 remaining Texas locations. In an article released by The Marshall News Messenger back in April, Channel Control Merchants (the owner of Dirt Cheap) informed the employees of their Marshall-based warehouse that the company would shut down its Texas warehouse and all but two Texas stores by May. This news shocked some as Channel Control Merchants was on an expansion kick over the past few years after an investment from KKR in 2015. For those not in the know, Dirt Cheap’s merchandise consists completely …

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Krogertsons – It’s My Store!

A closer look at the facade over the entryway. The banner promoting pickup showed up within the last 6 months... as has the availability of grocery pickup itself.

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend BillyTheSkink Unassumingly Stands a neighborhood pillar The first Krogertsons I did not think much of this store when I first moved to West Houston in the early 2010s.  Kroger HO-735, perhaps better known as the Dairy Ashford and Briar Forest Kroger, sits about as quietly as a grocery store can in busy West Houston.  While situated at a high traffic intersection, the store at 12555 Briar Forest Dr. is mostly surrounded by housing and some small, low traffic retail.  It is located less than two miles away from …

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Venture tried to tackle the Houston market 30 years ago, and failed

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re discussing the long-departed Venture Department Store on the 30th anniversary of entering Houston. Rarely have things gone worse for a chain than Venture’s disastrous expansion into Texas. A story that’s often misconstrued; while Venture’s time in Texas did ultimately lead to their demise, the pieces which led to the company’s drastic decline were laid years prior. So let’s start off with a bit of Venture history. Venture was an idea born out of the May Department Store company in the late 60s, which wanted to enter the booming discount …

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What’s going on at the ex-Randalls in Clear Lake?

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR. Today we’re taking a quick look at a Randalls, which I never had a chance to explore! This store, located at 2323 Clear Lake City Blvd, Houston, TX 77062, was a quiet closure at the start of 2020. An HHR reader, and former Randalls employee, believed that these cuts were performance-based, possibly in anticipation of the then not know Kroger-Albertsons merger. Randalls closures over the past few years are nothing new to Houstonians. I won’t waste time regaling all of Randalls downfall; there’s a history page for that! However, I will explain that …

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