Category: Restaurants

While this logo was very popular during its debut, it was later lampooned for being "over designed" and too busy

What’s going on at Fuddruckers in 2021?

Howdy folks, and welcome to another entry into what almost became truly “historic retail” in Houston, Fuddruckers! The beloved burger joint was saved at the last minute earlier this year. Luby’s Inc. who announced their intent to dissolve their company over a year ago had looked for but was unable to find a buyer for any of their restaurant chains. Fortunately, at what was truly the last minute, an offer was accepted by the company’s largest franchisee. Who agreed not only to buy the brand, and operations, but the remaining corporate stores as well. Black Titan Franchise Systems has been …

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Vintage Aerial's photos may not be stored in a Kmart Focal Photo Box, but this post will contain a link to a photo of a Kmart! (Anonymous in Houston)

Digging through the Photo Box: 1980s Houston Retail On Vintage Aerial

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Every so often, someone in the retail enthusiast community will stumble upon great sources of retail history in unlikely or hidden corners of the Internet. Loyal Houston Historic Retail readers will know that in just the last few months, we’ve managed to find a large repository of retail news videos clips at The Portal to Texas History website and we also found a large collection of retail annual reports at the Internet Archive. Friend of the HHR blog and fellow retail blogger South Texas Retail …

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One last look, you can just make out the Biglari branding.

Steak N Shake, Biglari Style

Over the recent Labor Day weekend, I found myself driving past Ennis. My wife and I both noticed a Steak N Shake sign we’d never seen before, which was a nice surprise as we’re fans of the restaurant. The sign was unusual, not only did it include the Steak N Shake logo, but also a small signature next to the company name. This location hadn’t been here the last time we passed through Ennis, which was admittedly a few years ago, but the gas station it was attached to had. Looking online there was previously an independent restaurant named “5 …

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The only bit of sign removal that has taken place appears to be accidental.

A former Hartz Chicken in a former Burger King

Nowadays fast food restaurants, and many other retail outlets, are built with such little detail that you couldn’t tell them apart from their competitors with their branding. This isn’t just a coincidence either, bland styling easily allows buildings to be reused by other companies, and is often required in planned communities. This, however, was not the case back in the 70s and 80s when chains like BK and McDonald’s went on expansion streaks in major cities, as areas changed and the original restaurants closed, you’re left with what can easily be identified by a non-retail fan as at the very …

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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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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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At first glance this location looks just like any other 2000s Luby's, a non-descript box with a canopy

What’s going on inside the vacant Luby’s and Fuddruckers in Cinco Ranch

Howdy Folks! Today we’re taking a look at a recently closed Luby’s/Fuddruckers Combo. This store at 24033 Cinco Ranch Blvd, Katy, TX 77494 represents the final generation of stores built, and was an older “new” location originally opening in 2014. This store was significant as being the second combo location to open, as the Fuddruckers deal was still relatively fresh at the time. During bankruptcy, this location was put up for sale. While both restaurants continued to operate until sometime around June, it seems that the fate of all the restaurants put up for sale was sealed, as Luby’s likely …

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Permit Roundup: New chains, meet old locations

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to another edition of Permit Roundup! Today we’re taking a look at a few retail developments throughout the Houston area. Let’s start off with some newcomers to town. It seems that the Post Oak California Pizza Kitchen, who closed their Texas outlets during a COVID induced bankruptcy, may be host to a new restaurant. Il Braco, a noteworthy Dallas Italian restaurant, has filed remodel permits at 1705 Post Oak Boulevard after announcing their intent to build a second location in Houston. While this is a few digits of CPK’s address, the only other vacant restaurant …

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