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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MarcoPlaza Polo or whatever happened to Pasadena Town Square Mall?

Howdy Folks, and welcome to my (Mike’s) contribution to the Month of Malls! Today we’re taking a look at Pasadena Town Square/Plaza Paseo/Marcoplaza Mall, a location that has been on my radar for a few years so let me start off by explaining how I found out about Pasadena Town Square Mall. In 2017 when my coverage of Northwest Mall began to gain popularity I had a reader get in touch with me about a place named “Plaza Paseo Mall” the first of a few short-lived rebranding attempts for Pasadena Town Square Mall. I was quick to look up photos …

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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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I'm pretty sure these are old H-E-B aisle markers as it matches their design cues from the era, but I'm not positive either.

The one where Safeway and H-E-B made the exact mistake 10 years apart

In late 1982 the Houston Division of Safeway opened a brand-new store to serve the growing Alief, and Mission Bend areas of far West Houston. At the intersection of Bellaire and Synott the modern round edged store opened as the anchor tenant of the shopping center along with an Eckerd. While far from being the last Houston Safeway to open, this would be one of the last built, as most “new” stores going forward would be former Weingarten locations. In 1984 Safeway acquired ~40 remaining Weingarten locations from Grand Union, who had been slowly breaking the chain up. For the …

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Ollie's as previously discovered decided to utilize the left side of the building, which required filling in Target's former auto service bays.

Retail News: Ollie’s holds grand opening, despite hurricane

Howdy folks, welcome to another edition of Retail News, and this week we have some good news! Ollie’s Bargain Outlet was able to hold their scheduled grand opening on Wednesday, September 15th, despite Hurricane Nicholas making landfall just a day before. It seems that so far Ollie’s is a hit! Fellow retail watcher, Anonymous in Houston, noted that nearly 50 photos has been posted on Google Reviews within hours of the grand opening. I had a chance to visit this long awaited Houston branch this previous weekend and found no lack of customers, however it seems that this is a …

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This Week in Demolition: 2 Homes and a Pool, right on Memorial Park

This Week in Demolition, we have two homes, seemingly joined at the hip, with a big pool in the backyard, right across from Memorial Park. This lavish monument to 1990s Houstonian exuberance will soon be demolished for something even more grand. Residential Demolitions 6518 Kury Ln, Houston, TX 77008– Timbergrove Manor, Photos 406 & 412 Crestwood Dr, Houston, TX 77007– Rice Military, Faces Memorial Park, Photos, More Photos 409 Schwartz St, Houston, TX 77020– Barnes & Westmore, Photos 1734 Hollister St, Houston, TX 77055– Timbercreek, Photos 3602 Billingsley St, Houston, TX 77009– Irvington, Photos 425 W 21st St, Houston, TX …

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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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Image Source: Google Streetview

This Week in Demolition: Barn Only

Today’s demolition has something special in it. Barn Only, this is a tag that is obviously somewhat special, as I’ve never seen before. The house it applies to is somewhat special as well. 1903 Wycliffe, doesn’t fit in with the rest of the early 60s homes on the block. It’s a beam and pier farmhouse, with a barn to boot! Taking Google Streetview back just a few years, you can even find a matching shed. This week, I tried to figure out where and how this house appeared here, and this is what I found. HCAD lists this house as …

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