A look into Houston's retail past

Souper Salad

Souper Salad

Souper Salad was established in Houston in 1978. At the time Souper Salad was seen by most as an oddity. The reason being that stand alone salad bars were not common, and salad as a stand alone restaurant meal was even rarer. Generally you’d find Salad Bars in a place like Steak and Ale, where it was considered a treat in addition to your meal, as opposed to another full course. Despite all this, the “temporary trend” of healthy eating had a growing following especially with college age customers. Making it no surprise that the first Souper Salad location would open right outside the H.B.U. grounds. The second location was also on the Southwest side of town at Weslayan and Bissonnet. Just West of Rice University. The first two locations Souper Salad were also praised for their huge variety, having over 50 separate items on their salad bar. Within Houston As a chain Souper Salad would experience their greatest success during the late 90s and early 2000s growing to over 150 locations across the Southwestern

A photo of the first location with manager Robert Mathis in 1983. Photo Source: The Bellaire Texan

U.S. With over 15 locations in the Houston area alone. The chain had a reputation as a healthy family friendly option. Featuring an all you can eat salad bar, and hot items like DIY tacos and baked potatoes. As health food standards have changed the available fare at Souper Salad became less desirable, eventually forcing most locations to close. There are no longer any Souper Salad locations in Houston proper. The nearest two are in Humble and Pasadena.

An advertisement showing locations, hours, and the original name of “Souper Salads”. Source: The Bellaire Texan
Address
Notes
7135 Southwest Fwy Houston, TX 77074First Location closed early
5460 Weslayan St. Houston, TX 77005Second Location Company Headquarters moved here
14714 Memorial Dr Houston, TX 77079
1574 W Gray St Houston, TX 77019
9741 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX 77042Westchase
20220 Katy Fwy, Katy, TX 77449Closed after 2015
2356 S Texas 6 Houston, TX 77077Closed in late 2011
2414 University Blvd. Houston, TX 77005Closed 2001
2435 Post Oak Blvd. Houston, TX 77056Operated into the early 2000s
303 Memorial City Way, Houston, TX 77024Inside Memorial City Mall
379 Greens Rd. Houston, TX 77060
4884 Beechnut St, Houston, TX 77096Closed after 2013
6516 Westheimer Rd. #10 Houston, TX 77057Closed after 2011
6783 Hwy 6 N Houston, TX 77084Closed after 2010
7469 Southwest Fwy. Houston, TX 77074Relocation of first store closed to HBU. Formerly a Po' Folks.
7504 FM 1960 Houston, TX 770701997-2012 Part of nationwide expansion.

Reader Comments

  1. My office used to go to Souper Salads every Monday. Do you remember a local restaurant called “George’s” on Washington Ave near the Heights? It was owned by an Iranian who cooked the best SOUL FOOD . We would go on “Thanksgiving-Thursdays”. it was a great little place back in early 2000s. Wish I knew what happened and when it closed.

      1. You might want to check in with some of the Stages (and other local theater) folks from the late ’70s/early ’80s – I know some of them have slung stories about gigs at the restaurant.

    1. Hrm. The only George’s On Washington I can remember was back in the late ’70s/early 80’s, in the space that became Club Hey Hey for a time. (Across Washington and about two doors east from Rockefeller’s.) Eventually, everything in that whole line of shops got swallowed up for new construction, which has since also been razed for newer mixed-use construction.

      Now, there’s also Harry’s on Tuam at Bagby that’s done “Thanksgiving” turkey and dressing on Thursdays for decades. I used to walk past them on the way to work all the way back in 1991, and they were advertising that back then, and they’re still going strong with it now.

  2. I like souper-salad but I never knew how broken of chain this place became. I mean, I noticed something was wrong when the incredibly popular location across the road from Irving mall shut down out of nowhere. According to it’s website there are only 18 locations remaining; which is baffling since I’ve never been to an empty souper-salad before.

    1. Souper Salad’s Wikipedia page would have you believe their downfall was due to the 2000s recession. Honestly it seems that the company has always suffered from mismanagement. Hopefully they don’t close up shop completely.

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