Retail News: Work underway on transforming 3 former JCI locations to Cabo Bob’s

The former JCI at 1960 and Cutten Road is a bit further along than the Meadows Place location, but Mason will likely open first. Cabo Bob’s the Austin-based California-styled burrito restaurant, opened its first Houston location quietly towards the end of 2019 at Fountain View and San Felipe. The chain’s expansion, however, comes with much more fanfare. Cabo Bob’s first announced these new stores back in April, only a couple of weeks after James Coney Island shuttered the Meadows location with the other two closing about a month prior. While I think JCI will be around for a bit longer, …

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Final Days at Randall’s as Sugar Land location closes this Saturday

Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we’re finally bringing the Randall’s Sugar Land saga to a close, as the store prepares to shut down permanently this Saturday, June 4th, 2022. For those who have been keeping track so far, HHR broke the news back in Mid-April that the Sugar Land store was slated to close by the summer (Thanks to an anonymous tip!). By May the going out of business sale had begun, and now a little over a month later, the store is finally set to close. The signage has been completely removed from the …

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The best Food Town I’ve ever been to: The Grocery Palace

Howdy folks, and welcome to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re taking a look at a grocery store I’ve been waiting to bring to you for a while! This store is the second in my “best” category, calling back to the original Foodarama post.  This doesn’t mean it’s giving an outright superlative ranking as this chain’s “nicest” location. Rather, it’s the best that I have visited thus far. Today’s Food Town is located at 2770 North Sam Houston Pkwy W, Houston, TX 77038. It is in a former Albertsons and has been operating continuously since the Lewis family took over the …

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Retail News: The Kirkwood and Westheimer Half Price Books is on the Move!

  Houston’s oldest operating Half Price Books location will soon likely be on the move to the Westchase Shopping Center. According to the Houston Chronicle, HPB leased space at 10915 Westheimer Rd, Houston, TX 77042. This portion of the shopping center was originally part of the mall space, between Target and Weingarten. The space to be developed into the bookstore has most recently been Spirit Halloween and Mattress One. Prior to this, it was a Shoe Carnival, originally serving as a Walgreens in the mall days, and for a few years after. Attempts by Houston Historic Retail to confirm the …

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What’s up with Goodwill’s new shade of Blue? The cause of all the changes and closings!

The Meyerland Goodwill, which we're visiting today started off as a Sears Hardware

Howdy folks, and welcome to HHR. If you’re one of our regular thrifting viewers, then the changes at Goodwill are likely not unseen to you. In case you haven’t been in a bit, things at Goodwill have been changing. One of the most apparent changes with the development of the Goodwill Computer Works concept. Originally debuting in Austin in 1997, the concept would expand to Houston nearly 10 years later. It seems like Goodwill Houston has always been a bit behind, in new concepts, while other Texas-based Goodwill chains began to expand on the outlet concept years ago, our Outlets …

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The Final Chapter of Sears in Pasadena, as Hometown Store in Pasadena Town Square Mall prepares to close

This wasn't a refront, this Sears was built like this in 1997!

Well folks, welcome to the closing chapter of a failed experiment. Sears is killing off one of their Hometowns in a Mainline store. Seemingly pulling off the opposite of “fat guy in a little coat” was not enough to justify keeping a tiny piece of the what was the final Sears in Houston open. If you’ve been following Houston Historic Retail, we’ve covered the Pasadena Town Square/Marcoplaza Mall Sears from reopening in November to a more recent check-in this Spring. While the situation did vastly improve between the two visits, the clear winner in this situation has been the Willowbrook Mall …

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Retail News: Final Vacant Carl’s Jr. buildings take on new feathers as Slim Chickens

Carl’s Jr. left Houston in early 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Down to just a few locations, and seemingly unable to find staffing over the past few years, Carl’s had a less than grand time in the Houston market. The chain had only been in the Houston market about 10 years before pulling the plug. Various locations have found one-off tenants, like a subdivided 24 Subway, or even Taco Bueno’s reentry into the Houston market. However, starting early last year, permits were filed for a single Slim Chickens location in a former Carl’s Jr. on S. Main, signaling …

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A&W and Long John Silvers, a match made in Louisville but now found in Austin

I can trace this location back to around 1976, the structure appears to have been rebuilt around 1992.

Howdy folks, and welcome to HHR! Today we’re taking a break from H-Town and its affairs to check out a now rare eatery, that was once a common combo in Texas. A&W and Long John Silvers. Today we’re skipping the formal stuff, and skipping straight to the nostalgia. Well, most of the formal stuff at least, a little bit of history first. The food franchising giant “Yum Foods” which famously operates KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, actually started off as a merger between two existing conglomerates. Tricon Global (which ran the three aforementioned restaurants and had been spun off …

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This former Weingarten still uses Grand Union decor 40 years later!

Still don't believe this store was associated with Grand Union? Here's your sign!

Howdy and welcome to Houston Historic Retail. Today, we’re driving to Texas City to visit a former Weingarten, largely still wearing its Grand Union era decor! This store is located at 915 6th St, Texas City, TX 77590, and originally opened in 1952. While the store has seen some expansions over the years, much of the original store is still in use. The Weingarten locations of the 1950s used what some consider to be a knock-off of a “Marina Style” Safeway. However, photographic evidence of these arched-roof stores being built by Weingarten can be seen as far back as 1951. …

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Retail News: National Grocer Lands former Belden’s Spot in Braeswood Square

Update 6/13: The new grocer has been confirmed as GFS. In early 2020 Belden’s in Braeswood Square closed their doors, after nearly 70 years of continuous operations closing a long chapter in Houston grocer. While official publications haven’t said exactly who will take this new spot, it is known that Braeswood Square, will once again be host to a national grocery tenant for the first time in 35 years! Belden’s initially started off as a member of the Super Value cooperative in 1951 with a location near the Bellaire Triangle. Belden’s would quickly expand over the next few years, jumping …

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