Wienerschnitzel’s tiny Houston return

Wienerschnitzel did a great job covering up the former Twistee Treat Cone

Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR aka Houston’s Hotdog Rankings. Today I have to start off with a confession, I like Wienerschnitzel probably more than any other hot dog chain around. I’ve tried a good few of them as well. Including, A&W, Dogs n Suds, Nathans Famous, Skyline Chili, and of course on multiple occasions local chain James Coney Island. Now to add some confusion to the process, if you’d have asked me 10 years ago what my favorite hot dog restaurant was, it would have probably been A&W James Coney Island has never been at the top of …

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Return to Food Town: Revisiting the former Kosher Albertsons in Meyerland

The gray paint is a new feature. This store was originally unpainted red brick, as can be seen in the photos at the bottom of the page.

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to HHR! Today, we’re looking at a Lewis Food Town in a Former Albertsons. Located at 9725 Fondren Rd, Houston, TX 77096 I’d call it an Alberstown doesn’t really roll off the tongue, sounds more like an actual town to me. In my mind, Food Town is a store without much context or connotation. If you asked me to “picture a generic Food Town”, I’d have a hard time describing one to you. It’s not that I don’t know what their stores look like, I’ve visited a good few many. Rather, it’s that each store …

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Raceway to 7-Eleven the saga continues

The new signage was the first update, likely due to the length of time required to get sign permits

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we’re taking another look at what has become the agonizingly slow transformation of Houston’s Raceway stations in 7-Eleven stores. In early 2021 the Raceway/Racetrac affiliation in Houston came to an abrupt end after over 25 years. Initially, the first stores opened were company-owned Racetrac locations. These gas stations specialized in discount private label gasoline, supplemented by streamlined C-Store operations. With locations featuring a small Made to Order grill, in addition to what would be classified as the bare essentials to be considered a C-Store. Prices of C-Store items were not …

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What going on at West Oaks Mall in 2022? A slow death examined

Howdy, folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re returning to West Oaks Mall, a location that holds a space near and dear in my heart as “my mall” during my teenage years. Anyone living in Houston for more than a bit knows that West Oaks is a riches to rags story. Starting off as an ambitious high-end shopping mall, serving a predicted luxury clientele that never really developed in this part of Houston. The mall was able to reinvent itself multiple times, adjusting to fit the changes this side of Houston felt. West Oaks has seemingly hit …

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Dick’s Warehouse Sale, Grand Opening, Now Closing! With special appearance by Babies ‘R Us!

The Babies 'R Us cart corals were left behind at most stores

Howdy folks, welcome back! A few months ago in February, Dick’s Sporting Good’s announced they were planning on expanding a new concept to Houston with Dick’s Warehouse Sale. The location opened in Friendswood on February 17, 2021. According to the original press release, which has since been deleted by Dick’s, the stores were intended to be “temporary pop-up shop” experiences, with discounts up to 70%. I had known about the new store for quite some time, but hadn’t made the time to visit. I happened to be in the area taking other photos, not planning on covering this store but …

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Love thy HEB Neighborhood Market

Someone dumped a decent amount of into getting that sign made and installed

These days in Houston a vacant grocery store doesn’t tend to sit for too long. While we don’t have a huge number of chains running around town these days to pickup the empty stores, we do have some independents. Even locations that have hit the end of their useful life as grocery stores, are often converted into other types of stores. We’re a town of opportunity, and lax (not non-existent) zoning laws help allow for easy transitions. However, that’s not to say you can’t find any unoccupied supermarket buildings in Houston. If a building is not being reused there are …

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Vintage Texas Retail Videos in 1080p from the Jones Film Collection

Kroger Superstore Produce Department, 1977 (Image sourced from WFAA-TV/SMU Jones Film Collection, April 7, 1977)

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Those who have been reading Houston Historic Retail for some period of time know that I did a two-part series (Part I and II) in early 2021 about the excellent retail videos available at The Portal of Texas History website operated by the University of North Texas Library. Most of the videos at The Portal were supplied by Dallas-Fort Worth TV station KXAS-TV. Well, another Dallas Metroplex university library, the Southern Methodist University Library, also has a collection of videos in their G. William Jones …

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It’s your town Boris! A visit to and the history behind the former Iron Curtain Smashing Randall’s

Howdy folks, today we’re taking a look at what is arguably the most significant grocery store in all of Houston. A humble Lewis Food Town located at 570 El Dorado Blvd, Webster, TX 77598. Starting out as a Randall’s in 1984, this grocery store served an important role only a few years later as an impromptu stop by Soviet politician Boris Yeltsin. Aiming to see how “average Americans” lived, many have drawn a direct line between Yeltsin’s experience and his later role in the dissolution of the Soviet Union. We’ll get into the history of it a bit more, but …

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Macy’s San Jacinto Mall location prepares to close by March for demolition of closed mall

Howdy readers, I have some sad, but not unexpected news today. The end is finally in sight for San Jacinto Mall. While this is a sad day for mall lovers everywhere, this has also been a long time coming, and almost everyone would agree that the property should be redeveloped rather than left to sit in the state it currently does. Originally envisioned back in 1978 by Paul Broadhead & Associates, a mall development company based out of Meridian, Mississippi. Broadhead had already made his mark on malls in Texas during the last decade. Originally getting his start in 1966, …

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This former TJ Maxx was once Jumbo!

However, on the inside it's straight TJ Maxx.

Howdy Folks, and welcome back! This time we’re talking about a store I don’t know that well. Jumbo Markets is a grocery store that only comes up on occasion in Houston retail history. They were a very small chain, so most people who remember them, either lived or spent time around one of their stores. Only making it to six stores over a time period of about 13 years, Jumbo had lots of missteps in Houston. The average “store life” for the chain was only about 5 years, except for their “Flagship” 10250 Westheimer location that stayed open continuously, as …

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