Tag: Random Retail

While this logo was very popular during its debut, it was later lampooned for being "over designed" and too busy

What’s going on at Fuddruckers in 2021?

Howdy folks, and welcome to another entry into what almost became truly “historic retail” in Houston, Fuddruckers! The beloved burger joint was saved at the last minute earlier this year. Luby’s Inc. who announced their intent to dissolve their company over a year ago had looked for but was unable to find a buyer for any of their restaurant chains. Fortunately, at what was truly the last minute, an offer was accepted by the company’s largest franchisee. Who agreed not only to buy the brand, and operations, but the remaining corporate stores as well. Black Titan Franchise Systems has been …

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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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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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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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The Circle K at 5101 Gulfton, has been a stop for me since it was a Stop n Go! This location opened in the late 80s

It’s been how many years since Circle K bought our Corner Store?!

In 1977 the Valero Energy Corporation was formed by the State of Texas, as a successor to a failed natural gas transmission company that Coastal had set up years prior. In connection with the Texas Railroad Authority (nothing to do with railroads), Coastal was allowed to build a multi thousand-mile set of pipelines, that supplied natural gas to city utilities. Most large Texas cities were tied into the Coastal system, with the unobtainable promise that prices would never rise. Then the Energy Crisis of the 70s hit, natural gas prices skyrocketed and all of a sudden Coastal’s pipeline subsidiary was …

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This was originally one of the mid 2000s "Lego Style" Stripes locations, that looked like it was made of building blocks.

Stripes begin to fade as the 7-Eleven conversions push on

Howdy folks, let’s get started today by a simple recap of how 7-Eleven entered Houston (the second time). After exiting in the 1980s & 1990s, Houston was notably absent of most chain gas stations, including 7-Eleven and Circle K. Throughout the next 25 years this would be the norm, until 7-Eleven began exploring our town around 2012, with their purchase of Tetco and Speedy Stop locations, around the metropolitan area but not within city limits. Although they retained their original branding for a while, these were some of the first stores to reopen as 7-Eleven around 2015. A year later, …

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Towards the end of their stay here most Safeways had adopted the pylon look as seen in Pearland

A former Safeway with a split personality

When a grocery store closes, it’s not unusual for the space to be subdivided. Over the course of the 20th century, supermarkets became larger and larger, aiming for a broader range. Today’s example is a former Safeway located at 2028 N Main St in Pearland. Holding their grand opening November 11, 1979, the new Safeway was one of Houston’s earliest purpose built superstore locations. The breadth of items available was everything you’d find in a grocery store, a 5 & Dime, and still a little bit more! For example, you could buy small appliances, TVs, socks, shoes, plumbing, and electrical …

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Yes it's real a Stripes in a former Buc-ee's

A journey through Buc-ee’s turbulent youth

A quick aside before we begin today’s post. There was an excellent online review I read a while back that somewhat inspired me to write this post. It taxonomized Buc-ee’s locations by size, giving two examples “Baby Beaver” to describe the original stores in Lake Jackson, and Adolescent stores to describe ones like the store off 290 on Muschkee Road. For this post I propose adding a few more classifications to the taxonomy. A “Papa Beaver” store as the original “small” Travel Centers eg: Luling, and the “Grandaddy Beaver” stores, the Mega Travel Centers like New Braunfels. What’s your earliest …

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The building sign is still a temporary vinyl sign attached with rope. I'm wondering if an embedded lighted sign may be in the works?

7-Eleven has finally hit the end of the Raceway!

If you’re a regular follower at all of Houston Historic Retail then at some point you’ve seen our coverage of 7-Eleven’s return to Houston which at some point has been a bit contentious. It all started with a post back in February of 2020 when there was scant evidence of 7-Eleven’s return, which had been in progress since 2014! However, by early 2021 7-Eleven had made great strides in not only converting existing locations but in building their own locations as well as noted in a post from January of this year. Another great stride has been reached with the …

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The blue background really kind of pops out in the photos, but is not as intrusive in real life.

The not so great, Foodarama Shrinkorama!

Cox’s Foodarama is an independent grocery chain operating out of Houston, Texas, with 8 locations in operation as of this post. The chain simply goes by the name Foodarama in all local matters, but uses their founder’s (Carol Cox) last name to differentiate from the many other grocery stores in the U.S. using Foodarama. During the early days of the net, the confusion mostly came from New Jersey based Foodarama Supermarkets, which has since stopped trading under that name. The chain was founded in 1973, in a building with an already storied history. Having been built by Belden’s when they …

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