Safeway, to David’s, Come in Gerland’s, Do you read me? This is Food Town!

Howdy Folks, in preparation for Thanksgiving we’re taking a look at somewhere you’ve probably stopped this week, a grocery store! Specifically we’re talking about 1455 Wilcrest Dr, Houston, TX 77042 which as of 2021 is a Food Town. However, it has been at least 3 other grocers over the past 47 years. The location originally opened in 1974 as a new build Safeway for Houston’s rapidly developing Briar Forest neighborhood. At the time, the Westchase area was still being built out, but would quickly prove to be one of the hottest new markets in town. By the late 70s, Weingartens …

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Online shopping at Gerland’s and other unique Houston grocers from 1989-90

Editor’s Note: Today’s post is a guest submission from HHR’s good friend Anonymous in Houston Houston was an interesting place in around 1989 and 1990. The economy, both locally and nationally, was a bit sluggish at the time. Locally, the area was still recovering from the problems facing the oil and gas industry throughout most of the 1980s. Given these problems, one might expect the local supermarket scene to be rather troubled as well, but that was not at all the case. Perhaps the most famous Houston supermarket story of 1989 was Boris Yeltsin’s famous visit to a Clear Lake-area …

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There’s news round the corner! Gas Station coming to Former Walgreens Highway 6 and Westheimer

The cannopies are what caught my eye driving by on Highway 6, I did not intended to take this photos.

Howdy Folks, and welcome back to some retail news at the corner of Highway 6 and Westheimer. It seems that two shopping centers, at the crossroads, are coming closer to 100% occupancy again for the first time in nearly 20 years! This intersection has long been considered to essentially be a no-mans lands in terms of retail. Beyond West Oaks Mall’s initial success which is long gone, the two power centers sitting catty corner both managed to maintain decent tenancy, but have more recently struggled. With the Village at West Oaks (Northwest Corner) losses included longtime anchors Barnes & Noble …

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Weingarten Realty’s Annual Reports, a look into our not so distant retail past

Howdy folks, how many times have you encountered the word “Weingarten” in your life. If you’re a native Houstonian, then you probably know the name, to say the least. Houstonians of a certain era, will obviously remember the J. Weingarten grocery store chain. One of Houston’s first true supermarkets, starting out in the 1930s, Weingartens experienced an explosive growth post World War II. The family, who had initially only built freestanding grocery stores, quickly jumped on the property development bandwagon. By the 1960s the Weingarten Realty Corp was operating grocery stores in Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas, along with the shopping …

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Safeway, Walgreens, and Kmart One of West Houston’s best preserved shopping centers

Howdy folks, and welcome back! It should be no secret by now, that I have a bit of an obsession with Safeway/AppleTree. While I don’t really remember Safeway’s presence in Houston, I do have lots of distinct memories of AppleTree. In learning about AppleTree, I’ve also learned lots about Safeway. One fact, I didn’t originally know, was that most Safeways in Houston were built with an adjacent Eckerd location. It seems that the deal allowed Safeway to have a strong smaller tenant as a guaranteed neighbor, and as a bonus early Safeway locations weren’t built with pharmacies, so Eckerd would …

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This Week in Demolition: The Final House on this side of River Oaks!

This Week in Demolition, we see the final house on the South side of San Felipe, along with the last Demolition Post, for now at least. Let’s start with the house, which was originally constructed in the late 30s. However, by 1963 it had been converted to commercial use. One of the first tenants was a Bookstore named The Bookman, run by David Dorman. Eventually morphing into an Art Gallery, it was holding general purpose “junk sales” by the 1970s. However, by the 1990s the house had been converted back into purely residential use. The house was not the only …

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Sears Marcoplaza Mall location, reopens as a Hometown Store!

Howdy folks! Welcome to a Retail News update, I never thought I’d write about, a Sears reopening. Granted, as stated in the headline it is as a Hometown Store, this is still big news! For those not in the know, the Sears at Marcoplaza Mall, closed in 2021. Leaving the Houston area without a mainline Sears presence for the first time in nearly 100 years. Sadly, I was unable to capture the closing, however Je of Southern Retail did document the store’s final days, and those photos will eventually come online. I first learned of the new Sears store through …

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Houston’s oldest TJ Maxx is in a former Weingartens

One more look at the building with the trees, you almost don't feel like you're in Houston.

Rummel Creek Village is a very interesting shopping center. With wooden shingles, ample trees, and vintage facade, you almost feel closer to the Hill Country than Houston here. Despite fitting stylistically with the surrounding Memorial Villages area, Rummel Creek Village is actually entirely within Houston. It’s anyone’s guess as to how it has survived unchanged for so long, but thankfully with age the design has only gained charm. It almost looks like something that would have never been built in Houston, due to our tendency to stick with very drab and plain and largely stucco shopping centers. This is at …

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This Week in Demolition: New House, Meet Old House

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This Week in Demolition, we find something I’ve never seen before. Meet 9325 Grady Street, a lot containing two homes. One of them is an obvious tear down. It’s in poor shape, and would be a full gutting at the least, likely needing structural reinforcements as it seems to have been sitting for a while. Next to the original house, sits another “house”. Although in reality it looks more like a trailer office on a construction site retrofitted for housing. It’s not ugly on the inside, but there’s no way of thinking this would be permeant, right?   Residential 11 …

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I know what you were last Halloween, Visiting 3 Costume Conversions!

All fixtures had been liquidated to a wireframe counter was built.

Checking out costume conversions, is by in far the oldest “blog tradition” here on HHR. If you’re just joining us, I would highly recommend checking out my post from 2019 which explores Halloween pop-ups in a former Palais Royal, Walgreens, and Babies ‘R’ Us, along with last year’s limited investigation of the recently closed Willowbrook Spirit/Sears (Spears?). These posts are always fun, and one of the most popular of the entire year. So this year, with fewer COVID based restrictions, I wanted to feature a return to form. We’ll visit three different locations, and to make it a bit more …

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