A Brief History of Wolfe Nursery

Editor’s Note: Today’s post comes to us from long time friend, and all around good guy Pseudo3d best known for Carbon-izer.com among many other great projects In 2021 Houston Garden Centers dominates the regional landscape as far as stand-alone garden centers go, one name has come and gone in Texas, Wolfe Nursery. Some may remember the Helvetica font on the logo, while others may have visited the store and bought plants that continue to grow in Texas today. While the name “Wolfe Nursery” had previously been used for a number of one-offs including a Waco operation in 1913, the Wolfe …

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The "unique" front of this Randall's was updated at most other stores to be the boxy enclosed entrance that most stores still feature to this day.

The best Foodarama I’ve ever been to: Randallasarama!

Hello everyone, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Today we begin by adding another definition to the HHR Dictionary, with the new term Randallsarama. Randallsarama- (Noun) A Foodarama location occupying a former Randalls Supermarket. “Great news, the Randallsarama had discounted chocolate cake!” Now that we’ve got the taxonomy out of the way, let’s get into the history of this store. We’re talking about Foodarama at 1603 Cartwright Rd, Missouri City, TX 77489. Originally opening October 2, 1983, as Randall’s #24. By the 1980s Randall’s was already associated with being on the somewhat “higher edge” of grocery stores, both in …

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Photo Credit: Highrise Tower, HAIF

This Week in Demolition: Firehouse Saloon land starts redevelopment and Harris County snipes a few houses along White Oak Bayou

This Week in Demolition, the burnt down, closed down, Firehouse Saloon, is torn down, and info on the low down, shows another gas station for this town! This is a list of the buildings which received a City of Houston demolition permit the week before this post.

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The Mission Bend Fiesta, where neon still reigns king!

Over the past ten years, with emphasis on new lighting technologies like LED, neon advertising signage has found itself oft being replaced by cheaper imitators. While this “fake neon” lighting has become commonplace in most stores, there is one chain where neon still reigns king, Fiesta! Neon exists at most (but not all) Fiesta locations, with some stores incorporating it as part of their signage, and other using it simply as a decor accent. While the familiar giant Pepe the Parrot neon exterior signs have mostly been replaced (as required via sign permitting) with LEDs, the interiors of most Fiestas …

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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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The Walgreens at Fulton and Quitman. Source: Google Streetview

Permit Roundup: Another 7-Eleven, Another Village Medical, and Victoria’s Secret Memorial City Mall gets a makeover

Howdy folks, prepare for a short Permit Roundup this week, while we do have a good cross-section of retail represented, this was a slow week for permitting in the city, likely somewhat due to the uncertainty of Hurricane Ida. So let’s keep our thoughts with our neighbors to the East this morning and throughout the coming weeks. Let’s start off with the good stuff, Walgreens at 2221 Fulton appears to be starting on an earlier announced Village Medical location. The permits filed are for demolition on interior walls, and were filed for “2221-A” while the name Village Medical doesn’t appear …

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This Week in Demolition: Buffalo Bayou Partnership takes aim at Turkey Bend redevelopment

Good Afternoon HHR readers, this week in demolition we see the start of something big, the Buffalo Bayou Partnership’s redevelopment of the eastern portion of Buffalo Bayou. According to a demolition permit filed by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, it seems that some preliminary work will occur at the former Turkey Bend Barge Docks. Concept art released in 2019 showed most of the support structures at the dock being left behind, and warehouses transitioned into a “gathering space”. The Turkey Bend project was one of three pieces of the enormous Master Plan to get a jump start thanks to a $10 …

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I'm almost positive the large ads above the pumps were a Conoco addition

Lake Oil Co, a lesson in identifying old gas stations in Texas!

Old gas stations are not an expertise of mine. I like to look at them well enough! Especially, when they’re still operating as a modern gas station, but I don’t know too much about them. When you look at most of the companies and stores represented on this website, I chronicle their existence in the conscious mindset (so from the 60s forward really). This is mostly because retailing has expanded quite a bit over the years. This particular gas station was likely built in the 1920s, and think about it like this, how many people still shop in grocery stores …

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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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The former Landmark Chevrolet Truck Sales area is likely where a new Food Truck park will end up. Photo Credit: meltedplastic

Permit Roundup: Sugar Factory Express is coming to Houston, and Memorial City Target remodels

Howdy Folks, I hope Monday is treating you well so far! As far as new permits go this week, we’re not seeing too much but what we do have is yummy, so we’ll start with the new end with the old. Sugar Factory Express has filed a demolition permit for the space they’re moving into in Galleria I. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably never heard of Sugar Factory, much less their Express variant. So let’s talk a moment how this place ended up in the title this week. Sugar Factory seems to be an experiment in excess, it’s …

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