Friday, June 28, 2013

Junek's Grocery / Wellborn Grocery

My photo. I wish I had taken it when was still, you know, a real sign.


Gas station nostalgia isn't an obscure hobby, but there seems to be less for the recent nostalgia as well. Case in point: the old "gray and solid colors" Chevron stations from the 1980s and 1990s. I first really noticed the difference a few years ago (there was an abandoned Chevron in Conroe, Texas, in 2011 that had the striking difference, and a Chevron near Jersey Village survived with the original color scheme before the tower finally came down this year).

This "gas nostalgia" often goes hand in hand with the growing endangerment of rural gas stations that are often small and out of date but have excellent barbecue, and the former Chevron in Wellborn was an example of this (along with Rolling Ridge Grocery). Junek's Grocery (Junek being pronounced unfortunately similarly to "eunuch") was the name but around 2007, the Chevron here lots its pumps and branding around 2007, about the same time when the new design was starting to roll out chain-wide (probably closer to 2010 was when it saturated) and not when a more modern Chevron was built nearby.

Because of how far away Wellborn was, I never had the barbecue here. About the time the gas station stopped selling gas, Junek's Barbecue moved out to a nearby lot, had a change of ownership, and closed (becoming a revolving door of restaurants and eateries, none of which have survived for more than a few years: Outlaw Jack's Brew N Chew, Country Cafe, Chubby's Meat Wagon, and now a Cajun restaurant. Meanwhile, the former Chevron station renovated (the facade, at least) and became Wellborn Grocery. You can also see what the facade looked like as "Junek's Grocery" right here or what it looks like as "Wellborn Grocery" right here.

The Chevron here was always a fun sight to see, as I never went this way except on rare occasions (such as going on a long trip). Even in the early to mid 2000s, there wasn't much to see past the Exxon at Rock Prairie. The area between Graham Road and Rock Prairie only had a few (brand new) buildings, Highway 40 didn't exist yet, and Wellborn was entirely two-way only, save for a left hand turn lane near Rock Prairie Road and the remains of North Graham Road. Then, after you'd give up on whether you'd see anything until Navasota, you came to Wellborn.

14889 FM 2154

Update/partial rewrite in 2015

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Ken Martin's Steakhouse / Ken Martin's Safari Grille

Apart from being in generally poor shape, notice that the STEAK HOUSE was removed first.


Although Ken Martin's Steakhouse didn't start here (it was located at 1803 S. Texas Avenue, an auto dealership, Ken Martin's didn't relocate here until...early 1990s?), at its peak, the Ken Martin restaurant empire included Fort Shiloh, Ken Martin's Chicken Fried Steak (a spin-off located in Post Oak Mall), three or four Pepe's (one where Gumby's was is now, the mall, the existing one in Bryan, and apparently one in Austin), and of course, Ken Martin's Steakhouse. The building here appears to be two levels, though since I've never been inside of it (sad but true!) I have no way of confirming that for certain. [UPDATE: See comments. It's just a high ceiling.]

Sometime around 2005 (correct me if I'm wrong, here), Ken Martin's rebranded to "Ken Martin's Safari Grille", which updated and expanded the menu (though, despite the new theme, did not add exotic meats to the menu).

The menu for the Safari Grill is below.


Because I scanned it from a phone book (still very much intact), some of the letters were blurred. That should be "aged to perfection and hand-cut", "garlic mashed potatoes", "texture and robust taste", prices down the line were 9.99, 12.99, 10.99, 14.99, 3.99, 1.99.

For the seafood, "served with rice pilaf", "served with our homemade", the Breaded Golden Fried Shrimp is 9.99.
For the chicken, "lightly breaded and fried", "topped with pineapple", "served with". Extra shrimp with the chicken is 3.99.

In December 2011, after about four decades of serving chicken fried steaks, Ken and his wife retired from the restaurant business and shuttered Ken Martin's forever. Comments are appreciated.

[UPDATE: The original restaurant here through the 1980s (1983, 1989) was a restaurant called Pacific Coast Highway. It was a fine dining restaurant (beef, seafood, mixed drinks) that I have an ad for, but I can't imagine it being built with that exterior...]

3231 East 29th Street


Updated mid-June 2015

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

G. Rollie White Coliseum and Read Building

A sight you'll never see again!

No pictures are enough to replace G. Rollie White Coliseum or the Read Building (built 1954 and 1985, respectively), but I do have some pictures (about three dozen) that I took with a friend at the end of last semester. It was an odd experience: some offices and rooms were stripped, giving a true "urban exploration" experience, but some weren't (people taking finals, for one).

G. Rollie White Coliseum was two levels (an arena and a smaller upper level), with Read Building being four (second level of Rollie is Read's third). Read is connected to the lower Kyle Field decks. These will all be demolished for the "new" Kyle Field, which is a shame but now is not the time to discuss what the TAMU brass want (you can explore it in the comments, I won't censor).

You can see the pictures I took on Flickr.

As a bonus, here's an article from October 1985 detailing renovations to G. Rollie, which was probably done in conjunction with the Read Building expansion.


You can see the pre-renovated arena here.

Read Building wasn't much to look at, as it was cleverly disguised as part of Kyle Field.


10/24/13: updated to account for their demise, changed photo -- the new one is from AggieMap.tamu.edu (as well as for Read), which have since been removed. The old picture from this post can still be seen on Flickr.

12/18/13: A different angle has the Read Building gutted to a shell in late September. At this point you could see the original paint on the walls.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Manor House Motor Inn

Yes, those were the days, and as I write this, I remember the wet floors (no running), the nets and the water feature near the lilypads, the dripping waterslide, the soft foam steps leading up to the smaller slide. Climbing up the chilly metal steps to the slides, looking at baseball games, or the yellow/blue flags (although they were originally more colors) that lined the perimeter of the pool, or the towering Manor House Inn sign that overlooked the pool. Of course, there were some negative things too: the Frog was extremely difficult to get on: it was slippery and there were little grips to pull yourself up, that is, if there weren't bigger kids to shove you off.


Alluded to in the now-removed Adamson Lagoon post, this post is about the Manor House Inn, which renamed to the Manor Inn maybe circa 2010 or so, but removed the towering sign because it exceeded the sign ordinances (to which a similar fate befell McDonald's just a ways down the road). It also has renovated completely around the time of its name change (probably much needed, the Days Inn next door remains in a time warp.


You might be curious about the "Motor Inns" part at the bottom. Did that imply that it was a chain? Yes it did. Updated here on this site on July 2nd, we get this:

Back when we first posted this, I hypothesized it was a chain. I was right. Seeing as it doesn't give any addresses for Austin or Houston, the Houston location is now likely the Motel 6 at the southwest corner, and there are still also motels around 290 and Interstate 35 in Austin. Sure, the building may still be there, but without addresses, it's useless.

It at least has a picture of the front facade pre-remodel. This is from a 1988-1989 Aggie Football program.


2504 Texas Avenue

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Furrow Building Materials

Finally, a picture of it in operation, from Project HOLD. Taken circa 2001.

1501 Earl Rudder Freeway (Hwy 6 S)

Opening in June 1984 (the ad below is from 1985) as perhaps one of the earliest commercial buildings east of the freeway, Furrow (everyone called it "Furrow's", though) was the main go-to hardware store in the 1990s for me. It was the type of store that could be called "your father's hardware store", it was for my dad, and I have fond memories of it, too. The company went out of business in 2001, and was in the last stores to close. I remember one of my last visits was on September 11, 2001. It had tile on the floor and drop ceilings, and was by all definitions a classic hardware store: bulk displays of the basics (like nails) that you could fill your bag and weigh, plumbing equipment, an outdoor lumber yard, and more.


To me, this was the distilled version of the "hardware store". It had plumbing, insulation, and other things for DYI work, but didn't have large bathroom displays, no lawnmowers on display, no various household appliances (no smoke detectors if I recall correctly, but may have stocked lightbulbs), no garden center, no flooring. The employees didn't try to upsell overpriced décor for your house, and it was convenient.

There were also lots of candy in bags near the front, about a pound of the stuff each, like, say peanut candy. I remember I got something near the end of the store's days and it was really stale, indicating that they hadn't moved merchandise in that section very often.

Today, Lock N Roll Storage (Official Photo)

Interestingly, the company name was Payless Cashways, and held a number of different names used in towns.

Years later, I would revisit the "small hardware store" scene with Ace of Aggieland, though sadly it just wasn't the same (for reasons detailed there).


Updated October 2017 with new date from reader mail

Friday, June 21, 2013

[Article] TI Plant Closes

The University Services Building (not to be confused with the General Services Complex building at TAMU, nor the Special Services Building) is a thoroughly unimpressive warehouse located in a somewhat secluded area, which I know primarily as the place where you can find lots of animals preserved in glass jars (I went there for a field trip in eighth grade...), but at one time, it actually assembled computers for Texas Instruments (back when they made computers), though TI closed the plant after only about six years (1980-1986).


It's worth noting the Cypress plant wasn't closed in the 1980s after all--it survived into the 1990s, at least...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

1704 George Bush Drive East (1704 Kyle Avenue South)

The building has expanded a bit since the JJ Muggs days. 1704 George Bush East (Kyle Ave. South)


This article originally just had a Garcia's ad and from there, the comments started to come in. Taking into account some of those, here's the more complete chronology. This post was originally simply named "Garcia's" and after more restaurants were added to the post, it was renamed "Burgers to Burgers (From JJ Muggs to Fuddruckers)" in 2014. With recent rumors of Fuddruckers moving out due to the lease ending, even that may be irrelevant. So here goes.

Opening circa 1984, the first restaurant here (keep in mind that this area was much less developed and one of the only restaurants in this stretch) was a hamburger place with a few other locations called J.J. Muggs. It didn't last all that long but was well remembered.

From The Eagle.


The next place to fill in the spot was Rita's Eaterie and Cantina, which opened sometime in the late 1980s. There was another Rita's Eaterie and Cantina in Nacogdoches that has closed within the last few years. I'm sure they were related.

InSite Magazine, December 1989


Finally, it became Garcia's, a Tex-Mex restaurant that was open through most of the 1990s.


The ad above came from a mid-1990s copy of defunct local magazine "etc." Garcia's closed circa 2003 after being open for years and is still missed in some circles). I remember it had some sort of papier-mâché cow head hanging from the ceiling, and as the A/C kept going, the "neck" was blood red. That was my most vivid memory of it (I only went once). Does anyone remember when it opened, officially? Fuddruckers moved in soon after (opening 2004 if my memory is correct) and it's been Fuddruckers next. Now, of course, with news that it's moving out (probably to a combined Luby's/Fuddruckers combo store elsewhere), who knows what it will be next? Write in the comments if you know before I do!

Extensively updated in July 2014 with new restaurants and ads, updated again in 2016.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

College Station Business Center

2151 Harvey Mitchell Parkway

Here's another one that got a bit overlooked because of the fact that it was thrown in with Stories of the West Loop, which got a bit overlooked at the time. At least the comments were relatively good at the time.

The name "College Station Business Center" invokes something grandiose, like a small cluster of mid-1990s office buildings, but it's not. In reality, CSBC is just a strip mall with some unimpressive tenants, and according to LoopNet, built in 1984 (which may or may not be true, since LoopNet is often wildly inaccurate at these types of things).

The other major tenant, roughly in the middle of the plaza, was Acrofit Gymnastics, a gym for kids and teenagers. I think it closed 2004, about the time an "AcrofitGymnastics.com" launched. I have no idea if they're related, with the only clues being that Acrofit had another location in Houston, the other location is in Kemah (a suburb of League City, which is a suburb of Houston). I also have some vague collection of "Tumble Tots", which the other site does have. Acrofit was a trashy place: it was large and cavernous, although it had moved some equipment around, there was a small viewing area (and an upper level, which they closed off). There were high ceilings, gymnastics equipment, chalk, a trampoline suspended over a six-foot concrete pit(!), running mats, no adequate air conditioning (just lots of fans). There were some rather dubious-looking paintings of children's cartoon characters (including Barney). They also had the "AcroBus", which had been seen in town post-closure. I did go to it at one time in the distant past, but I can only remember the smell (like feet), those scary-looking ropes, the basic layout, the mysterious upper level, those cheap seats they had for viewing, and a few framed pictures of Olympic gymnasts. Over all, it was a filthy place: I have no idea how old it was, but here's some 1996 forum postings regarding it.

There used to be a location of Jacob's Well right next to it, which has purified water. Jugs of it, and when I was there as a much younger person, wished I could get a drink of delicious filtered water, while being tired out from the various run-and-jump-at-the-springboard.

After Acrofit closed, it was replaced by Action Printing and something else, though Action Printing closed later (2008? 2009?).

There was 2818 Grooming at the end, which I recall the temporary sign being far better than the permanent one (an ugly backlit white-on-red sign, rectangular), Thunder Computers (which, despite the presence of a website, is no longer around), and a few other forgettable stores.

As you might've guessed, with a name like "College Station Business Center", it consists of mostly service-oriented tenants, not exactly shopping (which is probably why Paint N More, Franklin Candle Co., and Dollar General couldn't hack it).

I took a few pictures from my cellphone from odd angles (hey, the car was moving), and there's this picture from LoopNet (toward the bottom), which shows Action Printing.





The suite numbers are below (still working on this part).

Ste. 101 - For years, this was a small hardware store called Paint N More, at least that's what it was in the 1990s. It closed circa 2000, then it became Franklin Candle Company a few years later (2004-ish), and then Dollar General after that before it closed. And yes, I realize that while there WAS a Dollar General at the old Kmart building, it opened a few years after the other one closed, maybe occupying it from 2005 to 2009. It later became Fastenal, which closed in June 2017 when it consolidated with the Bryan location.

Ste. 107 - Southern Fastening Systems until early 2017 when it became SouthernCarlson (merger).

There's a few warehouse areas behind it like an iPhone repair place invisible from all angles unless you were heading southbound on Longmire. Some of these include Doggone Maintenance & Cleaning Services, Aggieland Computer Repair, and What's the Buzz Coffee Company (free samples, apparently). There was also a wholesaler's business back there. I took a few pictures of the area, but they're not very good.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Texan Restaurant

1971 Phone Book, an image oft "borrowed": this is what prompted me to use watermarks.

3204 S. College Avenue

Although now Tobacco & More, a discount cigarette/convenience store, for decades, it was the Texan. Known for its chef-prepared food and delicious salads (even in a less-than-fancy exterior), the Texan began as a drive-in from the 1950s era drive-in that Robert Tapley and his wife Diana bought in 1967. They slowly worked the greasy spoon short order menu into a fancier experience, and by 1971, we had the gourmet experience shown above. For decades, the Texan entertained and fed a loyal clientele, but the market changed. Robert Tapley passed away in 1992 with Diana taking over as head chef and owner. The 1990s brought more limited hours to the restaurant, and new restaurant chains in town began to tear into the crowds. Some changes were made to remain competitive, such as cutting prices and making the salads in the kitchen instead of tableside. The final blow was Christopher's World Grille (opened 1999), which although wasn't trying to kill the Texan, ended up doing in the restaurant. By 2000, they were open only 3 days a week, and Diana, now in her early 70s, saw no other choice but to close the restaurant permanently in May 2000.

Notes: InSite Magazine, May 2000 provided some additional information on the end of the restaurant. Updated March 2014.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Holiday Inn College Station / Four Points by Sheraton

To replace the stock picture that used to be here, here's one from 2015 taken from the Jack in the Box across the street.


1503 S. Texas Avenue

Originally I posted this back in fall 2011 (based on the wording of the 2011 post), and that was a point when I was still trying to figure out how to make the blog like I wanted it. Even after 2013, it still had much of the 2011 wording in there.

The Holiday Inn Express of College Station is and to my knowledge has always been on University, near Spring Loop. This is not what this post is about. Nor is it about the Bryan Holiday Inn, which somehow managed to get a Travelodge license after operating for years as a no-name motel since the late 1980s. The Travelodge name disappeared soon after a prostitution bust, so it's back to being a no-name motel again.

The hotel that is now Four Points by Sheraton was a Holiday Inn, opened circa 1973 (it was under construction in 1972). Why Holiday Inn didn't build new on the highway, as that was their modus operandi, was because even though the bypass did exist at that point, there was nothing on there, and Texas Avenue still was where the activity was (indeed, Earl Rudder Freeway does look a bit barren at some points--compare and contrast Cypress, Texas).

For years, this hotel perplexed me because I seem to remember the Clarion name was on far longer than 2005, but maybe my brain already was getting frazzled by the time because of all the changes. Even Google Earth supports some of the things that I've found.

Because hotel history is a little weird: you'd have to be working there to really understand it, here's some things that I did find through what I found. Here's my 2002 Six Continents hotel directory with the College Station hotels (Six Continents was the parent company of Holiday Inn at the time--forgive the slight crookedness), showing the Holiday Inn Express on University and the main hotel on Texas...

OK, so here we have the two hotels, the one on Texas Avenue and the Express near the University. Makes sense.



Fast forward a few years to the 2005 directory, now owned by InterContinental Hotel Group (the "hotel" side of 6C, as 6C broke up).



The new Holiday Inn is indeed on Southwest Parkway and the freeway, though by Q3 2005 it was still under construction. By Q3 2006 it had been running for a bit.

The old Holiday Inn as you may know was the "College Station Inn" for a few years, but it was Clarion for several years before that, seemingly long before Holiday Inn moved out to the highway. This odd memory is supported by the fact that someone perhaps Photoshopped out the logo. Why? Why would they do this?

Here's what the Four Points/Holiday Inn looked like as a Clarion (a picture of the "College Station Inn" is unavailable).




The phone books due line up with the Holiday Inn until 2005 and Clarion later (College Station Inn didn't last all that long, admittedly).

Regardless, renovations began in 2011 that all but stripped down the Holiday Inn and in April 2012, Four Seasons by Sheraton opened, which is their mid-line brand. We don't have a full-line Sheraton in town, of course, that's for large cities.

From HotelPlanner.com, presumably taken on a hot summer day. The paint isn't quite orange like that, but it can appear as such during certain times of day in certain parts of the year.

Perhaps it would be more interesting if I focused on the restaurants. One of the things about Holiday Inn was their restaurants, good enough that it was able to function on its own as a semi-independent component and not just a liability to keep guests in the hotel. The link to Pleasant Family Shopping talks about this in great detail, but to be honest, I think that such a thing is a bygone element now. I ate at a sit-down restaurant in a hotel once without actually staying at the hotel, I had spaghetti. That, however, was in 1998, when I was much younger than however old I am when you are reading this.

From what I could tell, the early days of the restaurant didn't have a name, the only references came in the paper of what they'd be serving that day (1983 papers seemed to mention only what they'd be serving, Mexican, etc.) That all changed in 1984, when the restaurant became Mongolian House, a Chinese buffet and Mongolian grill.


Garfield's was a higher class establishment than the more family-oriented Mongolian House. Open 6 am to 11 pm, Garfield's marketed toward more than the hotel crowd, and offered a menu that included prime rib, steaks, seafood, burgers, and sandwiches, as well as "54 beers of the world", which was rather good considering that craft beer was not the market it was today, and between Garfield's and Mongolian House, there was "Daddy O's" according to a city directory, and by the mid-1990s it was "Bronco's - The Texas Café". Naturally, there are going to be some I missed.

In keeping with this tradition, the current Four Points does in fact have a restaurant and bar. It's not Asian food, it's the "Century Café". It even stocks New Republic beer (brewed locally).

Minor revisions complete 4/25/15

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lester's at 2504 Kent


Built as Lester's in 1973 and lasting at least until 1985, this building has sporadically served as office tenants. When I took this picture in 2013, it had been vacant for the last several years (Google searching indicated a "Lonestar Systems Inc."), but within a year or two had been reoccupied by Greenwood Hall Education Solutions, an office for a California-based education technology company. However, the company abruptly folded in December 2017 closing its Bryan office.

There's also a painted train Locomotives on Parade still on the premises. It's visible from Google Street View but it doesn't appear to be anything photographed and based on the wheels looks like a repainted version of the Foo Foo Choo Choo, and as of 2013, the tiles outside still read "THE SMART SHOP", referring to "Lester's Smart Shop" in old articles and ads.

An anonymous comment says that Houston-based Craig's took over the store shortly after Lester's demise and operated it into the 1990s. While I haven't researched these dates, I did find that in October 1986, Craig's opened off of Westheimer in a store formerly occupied by the Smart Shop, but this was actually unrelated to Lester's. By fall 1993, Craig's had pulled out of Bryan, having shed 10 of its 23 stores between 1988 and 1993. According to a 1989 phone book, Craig's did have a store here, meaning it was one of the 10 closed.


2504 Kent

Updated February 26 2019

Thursday, June 6, 2013

[Side Stories] From Badgers to the Light

Here's another [Side Stories] for you that would've been forgotten otherwise (plus, there needs to be interesting posts--and this one is at least a bit more light-hearted than others). I do love local ads of most types (car dealerships being mostly an exception), and I remember browsing through a phone book, and finding the ad for Dr. Gary R. Badger, DDS. I never went to Dr. Badger's pediatric dentistry or have any other connection with the man, so I can't tell you what he was like, but his ads were...well, take a look for yourself (he even had it on the uniform!).

The worst part is imagining all those poor children who created a mental image that this was what Dr. Badger really was like.

Actually, those kids, with their blank, dead eyes seem to take away some of the effect.


In any case, Dr. Badger later added Candace Light, DDS to his practice (about five months ago, both signs were on the door), but Dr. Badger had retired. Light renamed the practice to "Light Pediatric Dentistry" and created a new marketing brand, this time focused around the sun and blue skies (light).

Thus has ended the ads of Dr. Badger, but I'm gonna miss them. They were original: I have no idea who created the badger drawings, but it was definitely an eye-catcher in any advertising medium.

3318 Longmire Drive

Editor's Note: The other day we alluded to a "big post on College Main buildings", which, despite the name and all, will be smaller than the big Northgate post. However, it will have more information than what is currently featured, and will feature more pictures.

There will be something either tomorrow or Saturday which you'll definitely like and may have liked them in the past. Maybe.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

College Station Hilton

This was taken in October 2015, and it was actually a lot darker than this, but the flash wasn't on.


The Hilton opened in May 1985 (confirmed), and unlike the Ramada Inn a few miles down, survives today as a Hilton. Plaza Café became Bell Ranch Steakhouse later. Personally, even accounting for inflation (about $109 today), that sounds great, especially in October 1985 (football weekends). And they include alcohol and a gift basket as well? Not bad, not bad at all!



I have no idea what became of Sundance, though. Additional history (renovations, etc.) is always appreciated...though I do believe it renovated at least twice to some extent.

801 University Drive East

updated july 30 2013 to amend opening, updated 2015 to add new photo

Monday, June 3, 2013

Pelican's Wharf / Pasghetti's / Royers' College Station Café / NailSpa

The former restaurant today. Notice the cedar trees, and the Kettle sign. The large "Manor House" sign was above that.

2500 Texas Avenue South

This article used to be one of the poorly-written ones, as it originated from an outdated version of the Kroger shopping center across from Southwest Parkway. Today, it's only a nail salon, but an aerial shows that this building predated the entire shopping center across the street as well as many other buildings along that stretch. It was built in the late 1970s (with the 1980 phone book having it), as Pelican's Wharf, an upscale-leaning steak-and-seafood eatery not unlike a nicer chain restaurant (but still cheap enough so that college students could afford to eat there). Another detail I picked up from TexAgs, was that although it was waitservice, there was no set waiter/waitress assigned to a table and they shared their tips.

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For a restaurant, Pelican's Wharf survived a fair number of years, up until the mid-1990s, when it closed (a 1993 phone book and 1995 city directory list it). Around 1996, Pasghetti's opened. According to a comment either here or at another part of the blog (see below for details), you could pick your pasta and sauce, and enjoy it (presumably with a drink and a breadstick) for around $4.95. Refills were a dollar.

At the time I was writing about Pasghetti's, I could really connect to that, because one of my favorite places to eat at Texas A&M at the time was a place inside the Commons food court, where you could essentially get the same thing for about $6.50-$7 (though no refills).

Contemporary view from Google Maps Street View, Texas Avenue side

Later, it was a place called Pasghetti's, and one source I had said it was open "96ish", but I had another source that said it was in the earlier part of the 1990s. The "96" source seems to be the more correct one, as a 1995 city directory still listed Pelican's Wharf, and a 1996-1997 phone book had Pasghetti's here (though it listed as "Pasgetti's", which given they also listed Papa John's as "Pappa John's", I wouldn't take their spelling as gospel). If we adjust the dates, I would say that Pelican's Wharf closed and Pasghetti's opened in the 1994-1995 frame, with Royers' picking up the slack in late 1996 or early 1997.

In 1997, "Royers' College Station Café" opened here. Often erroneously written and recorded as "Royder's", it was a spin-off of Royers' Round Top Cafe, an eatery with pies and unique menu offerings has gotten the attention of food TV shows and other sources of press for its food, décor, and the fact that Round Top, Texas is less than 100 people. Of course, in a brief time in the late 1990s, you didn't have to go southwest of Brenham to eat here, as there was a sister store right here, in College Station.

By 1999, it was gone and it remained that way for several years before NailSpa moved in, which I think was maybe circa 2003-2004.

I don't think I missed any businesses here. I know I strung this together from several posts, including Tales of Defunct Restaurants. Information from Pasghetti's derived from MyBCS.com and a comment on this post, which corrected the date (this was later confirmed by old phone books). There's also a mention of this restaurant in an ad posted over at the Manor East Mall.

I think that NailSpa is a waste for this restaurant building. I sure would like to see a restaurant here again, but in all reality if NailSpa leaves, the building will probably be demolished.


UPDATE 4 (September 2015): full rewrite, incorporating a few elements from the old version.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Travel Kleen and Summit


from Loopnet

317-321 Redmond Drive

Put this in the "forgotten Texas Avenue" file (and the "recycled post" file). Originally reported as part of the Aggieland Inn article when, according to the development list has lots 317, 319, and 321 Redmond Drive abandon their public right of ways. These used to be the "Travel Kleen" car wash and the Summit station, which were both demolished circa 2007. I thought they were part of a redevelopment, but it's not--today both have been cleared for a small strip mall under construction.

I've stopped at the Summit at least once (it was quite run-down) but never at the Travel Kleen--I wasn't aware there was a car wash even there (probably why they closed). Unknown to when either were built.

EDIT 11-6-13: A strip mall is up, featuring the area's first "Sleep Number by Select Comfort" and Aspen Dental. A third space is vacant.

EDIT 6-18-14: In the mid-1990s, this Summit was originally a Shell with a Zip'N convenience store. While a number of the older Shells did not make the conversion in 2003-2004 and had to convert to Summit stores, namely the two rural Shell stations profiled elsewhere on this site, the Shell here converted earlier. I'm not sure when this conversion took place. The Shell was at 321 Redmond (the same as Summit), and it was a Zip'N in 1989 (store #102) though it had been removed by 1993. The Shell signage remained up until at least by 1995.