This post concerns a number of stores between Manuel and Brentwood on the west side of Texas Avenue, starting with one of my favorites, Confucius Chinese Cuisine. For reference as to where we are in College Station, I've drawn up these images (fixed from their original state) for MyBCS a while ago. Example A: how it was. Example B: what it's like now.
While I sadly do not have a picture for Confucius Chinese Cuisine (2322 Texas Avenue), it was housed in a building at the corner of Brentwood and Texas Avenue. I still remember how cool it looked on the inside and out. It had a curved Chinese-style roof, the sign had one word in orange, one in green, and one in red. And those were lit up at night. I don't know what the history of it was. All I know was that it was open in 1989 but the building pre-dating it for a few years courtesy of an even older Chinese restaurant called "Jade Garden".
Inside, to the right you had the restrooms, a mural was toward the front, with small bald-looking people playing (or something--it was sort of weird). The restaurant was mostly red and gold, you could hear the aquarium bubbling (there was an eel, but I don't think he was ever used as a dish).
It was my family's go-to place for Sunday after-church dinners. The buffet was a single line with some of the best egg rolls my sister had ever had. I know what you're thinking: Chinese food buffets, a place of flavorless food, poor health standards, and morbidly obese people. Well, this wasn't one of those places (except for the "health standards" part, which all buffets tend to have).
It closed around 2001-2002 when the owner, Jimmy Chang, retired. I suppose it's better that the restaurant closed instead of selling out to new management: it never saves restaurants, just leaves a "bad taste" in people's memories of how good the food was.
Just two doors down was another restaurant, Imperial Chinese Restaurant, which moved there sometime between 1993 and 1995 (it was in the place where Wolfies is now, which was Ninfa's by '95). This one had declined from its early days, and outlasted Confucius Chinese Cuisine. The place in between was a pawn shop. The pawn shop and the empty Confucius Chinese Cuisine were demolished, with the pawn shop moving to a space at Manuel and Texas. After Imperial succumbed, the pawn shop moved back to the place where Imperial was. Where the two buildings were demolished, a Walgreens was built.
The Brentwood stoplight was added in the late 1990s or early 2000s, meaning it didn't last long before the road was widened.
Brazos Square, a little strip center that has been in continual decline is here.
At one time, both Play It Again Sports and Once Upon a Child were located here (both of the same parent company with the similar "recycling O") but a few years back PIAS fell by the wayside. The current pawn shop is where Imperial Chinese Restaurant was (which moved from a Harvey Road but NOT the same restaurant as a modern same-name restaurant where Tony Roma's was). The original pawn shop and Confucius Chinese Cuisine were of course demolished (the pawn shop moved across the street, but that was demolished for a TB&T bank)
At the end of the strip center was a Fuddruckers, but it moved out a decade ago and was replaced with "Asian Cuisine & Tea House" which closed quickly and deteriorated. There's an All-American Sleep & Mattress, but that became Fatty's Smoke Shop even later. This used to be Advanced Wireless Inc., a cell phone store with a neat looking logo, but ironically, as cell phones increased in popularity, AWI folded and disappeared. The sign looked worse and worse until it was finally dismantled.
In fact, the strip center has a look of a third rate wasteland. To illustrate: between the smoke shop and the pawn shop, there's the "Loan Depot" and to the right of the smoke shop, there's ANOTHER pawn shop (or at least in the last few years, I haven't kept up too closely with what's there and what isn't). Either way, it's a dump and soon as I get some pictures, I'll post 'em so you can judge for yourself. But it wasn't always that way. For years, REX TV was here, additionally, there was a toy store and a gourmet tea place. For example, in 1983, PrioriTEAS opened a second store here. As an aside, I'm impressed that they managed to spell "espresso" correctly when it was less known and you could get away with writing it as "expresso", but they called themselves a "desert bar".
And if you were in a kid in that era, Toys Plus might have been more up your alley.
Updated July 2014 with another title and new Brazos Square info
RESTAURANTS ORIGINALLY FEATURED IN THE ORIGINAL "TALES OF DEFUNCT RESTAURANTS VI". POST REWRITTEN MARCH 2014.
Thai Taste - First discussed here. The "reincarnation" of this restaurant is discussed here.
Sgt. Pepperoni's - Discussed on Two Way Roads
Spice Bowl - Mentioned on the Texas Avenue post