Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail! Today we’re looking at a Fiesta on Houston’s Southeast side with an interesting history. The building this grocery store occupies at 5600 Mykawa Rd, Houston, TX 77033, has an interesting history. The building was constructed in 1958 for the Fed-Mart company. For those not in the know, Fed-Mart was a chain of sores based out of California. In modern times the stores are often compared to Costco, or Price Club, both companies in which founder Sol Price would later have a hand in. In reality, though, the store’s merchandise mix would …Keep reading
Tag: Random Retail
Random Retail: Cimarron Pottery, how the second Garden Ridge location became a Broken Chain
Howdy Folks, a quick introduction for some of our newer readers. Sometimes things I come across while researching don’t exactly fit into the purview of a normal HHR post. However, it’s still an interesting enough story, so I publish it under the Random Retail Series. Today we’re talking about how the launch of Garden Ridge accidentally created a competitor via a Broken Chain. Also shoutout to Aaron J. of Carbon-izer who recently reminded me of this story. Broken Chain– (Noun) A chain that at some point has split its operations into independent operations. “The Gibson’s in Kerrville doesn’t operate in …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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, …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading
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 …Keep reading