Category: Random Retail

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

Dining Out on Highway 6, a reflection on the dead restaurants near West Oaks Mall

Howdy folks and welcome to a companion piece for the Month of Malls. While not a full mall post, our center topic today are the dead restaurants near West Oaks Mall. These eateries are mostly adjacent to West Oaks Village Shopping Center, as opposed to the mall itself. However, let’s start off talking about full service eateries in West Oaks Mall. While the mall had its fair share of staple food court tenants, up until about 2010 full service dining has always been light at West Oaks. While a few restaurants like Biaproettis and most recent out parcel tenant Applebee’s …

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This entrance is just to the left of the food court entrance shown earlier. The eyebrow-shaped awning predates McDonald's recent fascination with the aesthetic by decades.

Happy Birthday First Colony Mall, sorry we sorta forgot!

Editor’s Note: Today’s guest post, written by my favorite scincidae, billytheskink, is part two in our Month of Malls! Be sure to check out Part One! -Mike March 2021 came and went, and we failed to wish First Colony Mall well on its 25th birthday!  Sincere apologies for this egregious oversight.  Hopefully this belated happy birthday post full of photos and reminiscence (and also more photos!) from a Fort Bend County kid can in some small way help make up for this terrible mistake. A (kind of) Brief History Of The Mall While the mall itself opened on March 14, …

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This photo shows how massive the lobby is. I wonder if this is a legal requirement, or zoning? I feel they could do without the glass doors, and could easily place product out here.

Permit Roundup: Slim Chickens inside the Loop, Taco’s A-Go-Go at Greenway, and a few more Village Medicals

Howdy folks, and welcome to another Permit Roundup! Unfortunately, last week, I ran out of time before I was able to complete the post, and it looks like I’m going to run into a similar issue again this week. While I won’t have time to write a full article, I do still have time to pull the data needed. I’m also included the interesting pieces that were skipped last week. I’m unfortunately going to be a bit more time limited at the moment, so let me know if you guys find this acceptable in the comments! (P.S. If anyone is …

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A Brief History of Wolfe Nursery

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes to us from long time friend, and all around good guy Pseudo3d best known for Carbon-izer.com among many other great projects In 2021 Houston Garden Centers dominates the regional landscape as far as stand-alone garden centers go, one name has come and gone in Texas, Wolfe Nursery. Some may remember the Helvetica font on the logo, while others may have visited the store and bought plants that continue to grow in Texas today. While the name “Wolfe Nursery” had previously been used for a number of one-offs including a Waco operation in 1913, the Wolfe …

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The "unique" front of this Randall's was updated at most other stores to be the boxy enclosed entrance that most stores still feature to this day.

The best Foodarama I’ve ever been to: Randallasarama!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we begin by adding another definition to the HHR Dictionary, with the new term Randallsarama. Randallsarama- (Noun) A Foodarama location occupying a former Randalls Supermarket. “Great news, the Randallsarama had discounted chocolate cake!” Now that we’ve got the taxonomy out of the way, let’s get into the history of this store. We’re talking about Foodarama at 1603 Cartwright Rd, Missouri City, TX 77489. Originally opening October 2, 1983, as Randall’s #24. By the 1980s Randall’s was already associated with being on the somewhat “higher edge” of grocery stores, both in …

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The Mission Bend Fiesta, where neon still reigns king!

Over the past ten years, with emphasis on new lighting technologies like LED, neon advertising signage has found itself oft being replaced by cheaper imitators. While this “fake neon” lighting has become commonplace in most stores, there is one chain where neon still reigns king, Fiesta! Neon exists at most (but not all) Fiesta locations, with some stores incorporating it as part of their signage, and other using it simply as a decor accent. While the familiar giant Pepe the Parrot neon exterior signs have mostly been replaced (as required via sign permitting) with LEDs, the interiors of most Fiestas …

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Here's a mall entrance in between the Sears anchor and the old Montgomery Ward. The Forever 21 is where the old Luby's Cafeteria once was. In fact, the greenhouse you can faintly see off to the right by the tree was once part of the dining room. (Photo courtesy of Mike/HHR)

Happy 40th Anniversary, Willowbrook Mall!

Editor’s Note: Today we begin Houston Historic Retail’s Month of Malls! Our 3 Wednesday posts will feature all new Mall content! Lets start off Part One with Northwestern Houston Resident Expert Anonymous in Houston! -Mike Those who have visited the Willowbrook Mall area in Northwest Houston know that several words can be used to describe the territory, but ‘sleepy’ is probably not one of them in current times.  However, prior to the official opening of Willowbrook Mall on September 23, 1981 (though the original three anchors of Sears, Foley’s, and Montgomery Ward had all opened for business by September 2, …

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The Walgreens at Fulton and Quitman. Source: Google Streetview

Permit Roundup: Another 7-Eleven, Another Village Medical, and Victoria’s Secret Memorial City Mall gets a makeover

Howdy folks, prepare for a short Permit Roundup this week, while we do have a good cross-section of retail represented, this was a slow week for permitting in the city, likely somewhat due to the uncertainty of Hurricane Ida. So let’s keep our thoughts with our neighbors to the East this morning and throughout the coming weeks. Let’s start off with the good stuff, Walgreens at 2221 Fulton appears to be starting on an earlier announced Village Medical location. The permits filed are for demolition on interior walls, and were filed for “2221-A” while the name Village Medical doesn’t appear …

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This Week in Demolition: Buffalo Bayou Partnership takes aim at Turkey Bend redevelopment

Good Afternoon HHR readers, this week in demolition we see the start of something big, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s redevelopment of the eastern portion of Buffalo Bayou. According to a demolition permit filed by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, it seems that some preliminary work will occur at the former Turkey Bend Barge Docks. Concept art released in 2019 showed most of the support structures at the dock being left behind, and warehouses transitioned into a “gathering space”. The Turkey Bend project was one of three pieces of the enormous Master Plan to get a jump start thanks to a $10 …

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I'm almost positive the large ads above the pumps were a Conoco addition

Lake Oil Co, a lesson in identifying old gas stations in Texas!

Old gas stations are not an expertise of mine. I like to look at them well enough! Especially, when they’re still operating as a modern gas station, but I don’t know too much about them. When you look at most of the companies and stores represented on this website, I chronicle their existence in the conscious mindset (so from the 60s forward really). This is mostly because retailing has expanded quite a bit over the years. This particular gas station was likely built in the 1920s, and think about it like this, how many people still shop in grocery stores …

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