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"gas nostalgia" often goes hand in hand with the growing endangerment of rural gas stations that are often small and out of date but have excellent barbecue, and the former Chevron in Wellborn was an example of this (along with Rolling Ridge Grocery).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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Texas Avenue: The Main Street of the City

NOTICE!! This post is a mess, composed of cut and recut pages. Currently, plans are in the works to break up some of this into smaller posts or just outsource into the new Texas Avenue Directory.

There are many roads in College Station-Bryan, but none so prolific as Texas Avenue.

This was originally supposed to be a mega-post but it was later cut into smaller sections. While the tag [texas avenue] should give you the posts, here are the posts in order from south to north.

- The Burger King at the End (or the Beginning) of Texas Avenue
- Sunset Gardens
- Jimmy Jackson's Exxon

is not a complete list, but it should give you a feel of what the area is like. Since it's a long road, it's roughly divided into "sections" for easier viewing.

South of Harvey Mitchell

The first part is the section between Harvey Mitchell and the end of Texas Avenue, which has always been four lanes with a frontage road providing access to businesses on the west side. The east side has a collection of trailer homes, a few small homes, a U-Haul, a funeral home, an office building, and an O'Reilly Auto Parts.

Since the Highway 6 bypass was built in the 1970s, prior to around 2006, there was an intersection here with the southbound one-way traffic from the bypass intersecting with Deacon. To the south was Texas Avenue turning into an entrance for Highway 6 south with the northbound lane going from Highway 6. To the south at Deacon was a two-way frontage road that paralleled Texas Avenue up to Wal-Mart and became the southbound Highway 6 frontage road for the section south of Texas Avenue.

Around 2006, that all changed, and the set-up was altered. The road that paralleled Texas Avenue was cut off at an apartment complex, and the two lanes from Texas Avenue went to the frontage road south (now all one-way) or the highway.

The stoplight as far as I know was always here but was upgraded later.

At the northeast corner is a Burger King, which I believed opened 2007 to replace the one at Culpepper Plaza, which was torn down and replaced with a Chick-fil-A. Burger King here replaced a Diamond Shamrock gas station.
Burger King at Texas Avenue and Deacon, May 2014

Across the street is a Wings-N-More restaurant, owned by Mark Dennard. The restaurant could alternately be called Mark Dennard's Original Wings-N-More due to the presence of a franchised Wings-N-More in Houston, but since they renamed to BreWingz, that really doesn't apply anymore.
Wings-N-More at Texas Avenue and Deacon, May 2014

Across the street is the old frontage road. We have Ashley & Co., which seems to have some discoloration on the roof. Fire? Mold? I don't know. This used to be Petal Patch (and briefly a bakery, I've heard after that). Looking down the street, we see a variety of other businesses that have stayed pretty constant, including a chiropractor's, a pool store, and a paint store.
Ashley & Co., May 2014
Looking down the street

This has remained constant enough that Sunset Gardens, which burned down in the 1980s, is still around.

The frontage road ends at the Walmart parking lot. Originally, this was just a regular Wal-Mart (opened in 1988) with an Albertsons built next to it a few years later (1991) though in 2008 Albertsons went under, and just over a year later, Wal-Mart tore into the building so it could expand into a Supercenter. You can read about them here.

At the Texas Avenue/Harvey Mitchell Parkway intersection, there's a quick-lube place, an Exxon gas station (now "Frankie's" though it wasn't always under that name), a Citibank (check that out for when it opened, etc.), some ridiculously wide ROW that suggests a cloverleaf was proposed here a long time ago, and the College Station Shopping Plaza. It's a former Kmart, now a shopping center that rarely made it to full occupancy.

From the Bottom to the Top

Past Harvey Mitchell (read more about that here) is a section that from 2006 to 2009 went through a major widening. It stripped out the culverts and converted the narrow four lanes of asphalt and a left hand turn lane to six wide lanes, medians, and concrete. It made driving a lot easier, but I feel some elements were lost (specifically, some large trees and stoplights). It made the area feel a lot more urban, as now, everything was closer to the road.

We don't have photos and information for everything along this strip, but here's what we have so far up to the end of George Bush. Heading down toward Bee Creek, there was the old Putt-Putt Golf (which renamed, closed, reopened as Paradise Scuba after a renovation, which closed again after just a few years). The D.A. Andy Arboretum is on the left (not really a big attraction, and accessible through Bee Creek Park), with the police station on the right. It used to be the city courthouse as well. The courtyard area in front is Cy Miller Park. At this point, the road begins to go back uphill.

There's a cemetery past the Krenek Tap intersection, which actually never gained a stoplight until a few years after the widening (c. 2012).

From here, the west part of the road contains the empty plot of Fort Shiloh (demolished a decade ago), Days Inn (originally called "Shiloh Inn", of course), Manor Inn, formerly Manor House Inn, a Kettle Restaurant (the sign used to be red and white, with a chef holding a plate as the "K"). An example can be found from a link at this page.

Finally, there's a NailSpa. Historically, this was restaurants, including Pelican's Wharf and later Royers' College Station Café (but don't forget Pasghetti's).

The east side from Krenek Tap includes a private residence at Krenek Tap and Texas Avenue (they even added a concrete entrance for what passes as an auxiliary driveway), a church (College Station Baptist Church, they have a marquee with a globe on it), and a small strip center, Homestead Place (originally Shiloh Place). Since it has suites and not addresses for most of the shopping center, it's difficult to find what was there. I remember that prior to 1998, the College Station Public Library was actually here for a while, and some old phone books indicate a smaller Mr. Gatti's here as well (running concurrently with the Northgate and Bryan locations, and not directly associated with the disaster up the road in a few decades from when this one was around). There's another strip of this shopping center that has the sign (very '80s) but I don't have a picture of it (it's where Brown's Shoe Store is). Last summer I saw a picture of the CSPL facade along with what the facade looked like then. I don't have a picture of the facade of the original Homestead Place (blue facades, stonework) but I know I saw a photo last summer, complete with the library in its spot.

The original library wasn't especially cramped but it was small. It didn't have an electronic card catalog, and when it finally got one in the new location, they were on green and black monitors that were already laughably ancient even in the late 1990s.

Left side with former Park Oak Paint, a vision center, and a nail salon. May 2014.
Right side with 40 Tempura and the martial arts place that used to be near Albertsons.

The Kentucky Fried Chicken in the parking lot moved in the mid-1980s as well from Dominik Drive and renovated in the mid-2000s. Other than all that, there's not much more to say about the moribund shopping center besides some forgettable shops.

Prior to the road expansion, the Southwest Parkway stoplight featured this cool, black-trimmed stoplight (without any "border" like the modern ones) and some nice trees, but these were all removed in that process. I'm pretty sure I scanned some photos that included them for Project HOLD but was never able to find them after I did.

Between Brentwood and Southwest Parkway, the west side holds Parkway Square, with a Kroger that has been continually operating since the early 1980s--the oldest supermarket still operating in its original place and name. The east side holds a number of other businesses.

There used to be a small little strip center on the corner that contained a "Care Plus" medical office (I don't think there was anything else), one of two in town, the other one did dental and was located at Sul-Mar Center pre-renovation. I once believed that Care Plus went totally extinct, but they moved around and are expanding again under a new name...MedPlus. The replacement was an Eckerd, moved in the early 2000s from Culpepper Plaza. In April 2004, half of the Eckerd chain was sold to CVS/pharmacy, with this store receiving a repaint (from blue to red) and rename some months later.

The office tower next to it I think used to be badged as Guaranty Bank, it's now BBVA Compass. Next to it was Redline, a little diner which I remember being boarded up (the later Shammy Express Car Wash had a similar sized facade). However, I think I remember that (and this is backed up in certain phone books) the eatery changed names before its demise around 1998 (but no I'm not so sure anymore). After being "Shammy Express Car Wash" for over a decade, in 2013, it was remodeled and renamed to "Drew's Car Wash". At least Drew's changed that puke-green color that Shammy's had.

The Motel 6 on the corner was there for years.

The Brentwood stoplight was added in the late 1990s or early 2000s, meaning it didn't last long before the road was widened.

It was here that Confucius Chinese Cuisine was (now a Walgreens), though an old Dairy Queen (whoops, "DQ", though it never got remodeled) is across the street. On the west side, past the current pawn shop, is Brazos Square, a little strip center that has rarely seen change. 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. 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 mattress store and the pawn shop, there's the "Loan Depot" and to the right of the mattress store, there's ANOTHER pawn shop.

On the other side of the street, there's mostly auto repair shops. Behind the Dairy Queen, there's Aggieland Automotive and Total Auto, to the left of Dairy Queen is Discount Tire, and to the left of Discount Tire is BCS Tires & Lifts, though this wasn't always that way.

Behind all that, there's a Comfort Inn & Suites (opened 2004).

At the Manuel/Target shopping center light, there's an Outback Steakhouse, which added an addition in the late 1990s or early 2000s (it was built in the early part of the 1990s, one of the first chain restaurants in Bryan-College Station). It recently remodeled. The Target behind it was opened in 1992 and received a substantial renovation circa 2005. It's being updated again to the "P-Fresh" format.

Next to Target is a row of stores that developed in the 1990s (possibly even by H-E-B itself, which developed strip centers around its stores). There's Old Navy (built around 1999), DSW (originally H-E-B Pantry Foods and later Gattitown after the Pantry closed), and Hastings (built about 1997, moved from Culpepper Plaza). Smaller in-line stores include Marble Slab Creamery and Freebirds World Burrito, both of which have been here for years.

In front of these are a Chase Bank, Jimmy John's, and The Men's Wearhouse. From the early 1990s, there was an Olive Garden, until it mysteriously burned one night in 2004 (grease in the vent hoods, but at night?). It was torn down soon after for the businesses there today.

On the other side of Holleman, there's an H-E-B, opened spring 2002. There used to be an El Chico at this corner, but around 2006 it was torn down for a bank.

The east side south of Holleman (man, that was an even screwier stoplight back pre-2006, it had a separate left turn light with solid colors, something seen in Bryan but not CS) had (from north to south this time) the following:

- Tom's BBQ was here all throughout the 1990s. I don't know what was there before (Dave's Seafood & Steaks seemed to be there in the 1980s, but it had a different address, 2005, not 2001), and after serving as excess parking for the motel next door for a few years, it was razed for a new strip center, which included a Blockbuster (closed about 2011 and replaced with a MattressFirm), a Batteries Plus (stylized as "BatteriesPlus +" and in 2012 or 2013 was stylized as "Batteries + Bulbs"), Rhino Video Games (a subsidiary of Blockbuster at the time, was located next to Blockbuster, but sold to GameStop in January 2007), Rosie's Pho, and a few other stores (nail salons, tanning salons, etc.)
- E-Z Travel Inn was always named as such. It is more run-down than it originally was, I don't know if they still use "Winkie" as their mascot anymore.
- Some homes in the "Pooh's Park" subdivision (it is not actually referred to as such, but in the books) that have been rebuilding as slightly denser houses
- Formerly RSC Equipment Rental, now United Rentals. This was always a rental facility throughout the 1990s, and was the address of Party Time (subleased) at one time.

From the Top of the Hill

At the intersection of Holleman and Texas Avenue is a small building that has had a constant turnover of tenants, probably by its difficult to access building. Petal Patch was here for a while (yes, not just at Texas 707 or the other end of Texas Avenue), in the late 2000s, it was Aggieland Crossfit, and at any time I could say that there's a mattress store or cell phone accessory store and I could likely be right on one. Adjacent to the building was the large Pooh's Park, though it's been gone for years. It's now part of a strip center with Hobby Lobby, Ross Dress for Less, Big Lots, and a liquor store. Next to that was Tinsley's Chicken 'n Rolls (later Clay Oven, and eventually Kokopelli's). After Kokopelli's closed, it was demolished for the new center.

The businesses at Park Place and Harvey are discussed here, and of course, the mega-popular H-E-B is here. There used to be a water tower at the corner where the H-E-B gas station and car wash is now.

The Bottom of the Hill

The Harvey Road/Texas Avenue stoplight is not quite elevated over Wolf Pen Creek, but it's close. At the southeast corner is a church, the northwest corner is JJ's Liquor. The JJ's Liquor has been in operation since the early 1970s as simply Discount Liquor Store. JJ's bought it in the late 1970s or early 1980s, and even today, under its current owner, Spec's (which kept it open, despite a nicer, newer, and larger store across the street), it still looks very much the same as it did before.
Southbound on Texas Avenue, March 2014.
Southbound on Texas Avenue, March 2014. Another view.

At the Harvey Road/Texas Avenue stoplight at the bottom of the hill (crossing over Wolf Pen Creek), there's an Exxon. It had been operating for years as an Exxon, and would eventually go under the Speedy Stop name (convenience store, that is). Despite the difficult access (parking was never accessible from Culpepper Plaza, in case you're wondering). In early 2013, it was announced that Speedy Stop was acquired by 7-Eleven, and it would be converted to 7-Eleven sometime later that year. We watched as 7-Eleven products began to infiltrate the store, and...the big conversion never came. It's now branded as TETCO (another 7-Eleven owned brand) with no Slurpees in sight. Easily one of the biggest disappointments of 2013.

It disappeared from Speedy Stop's location list, TETCO's store locator was replaced by 7-Eleven's locator, and it doesn't show anything for Bryan-College Station (but curiously, not Houston either, considering that some Speedy Stops did make it successfully to a 7-Eleven).

However, an article in the Houston Chronicle (which unfortunately I can't link to due to tendency for these things to be removed) more recently seems to suggest that TETCO would still convert to 7-Eleven (but why bother with the stop-gap motion?) The pictures below are from summer 2013. The building has since been painted completely off-white, no green or yellow accents.

Picture One
Picture Two

Nearly all of the items here have been documented on this site one way or another:

On your left:
Summit gas station was here, with an old car wash behind it, but it's now a strip center.
Aggieland Inn - This was a Ramada for years, then it reverted to its original name and closed. It's gotten a repaint but still shuttered. A 1980s Jack in the Box is still open.
Texas Avenue Crossing, formerly the spot of Redmond Terrace Shopping Center.

On the right:
Central Station - Former Culpepper Plaza. AppleTree used to be here, now home to Spec's, Kohl's, OfficeMax, and a bunch more.
The Buildings of Dominik Drive - At the corner there used to be a Shell.
Holiday Inn - This is now Four Points by Sheraton. Same building, though!

Past George Bush/George Bush East is the six-laned portion that was four laned until around 1998. This continues to the Bryan city limits just past University Drive. During that time, some very attractive stoplights were built that included the names of the streets in backlit boxes instead of just signs (they do this on the major thoroughfares, but not everything). The division between George Bush Drive and George Bush East is pretty interesting. The six laned road is not at all like the 2006-2008 six laning of Texas Avenue south of here, it's relatively narrow and also has gotten a bit bumpy.

A long time ago, continuing from Jersey Road you entered the "College Hills Estates" subdivision, where the road became Kyle Avenue, before looping around to Walton, and forcing you on northbound Texas Avenue (Highway 6 in those days). Somewhere along the way, Kyle South was added (originally just from Highway 30 to Dominik) a direct way from Kyle to Highway 30, and eventually the whole road was reconfigured to just follow the Kyle East to Kyle South. Circa 1997, it was renamed George Bush East as part of the George Bush Drive plan, but it was still two way. I remember this era of George Bush East somewhat vividly, at least the Kyle Avenue East part: there were lots of trees, some empty lots near Texas Avenue that had been torn down recently (in the late 1990s/early 2000s).

In 2003, they changed all that by converting it to one lane (northeast to Dominik only) and dramatically widened it into a four lane road. While it's nice, it's still a slow road (about 20-25 MPH for the curve) and it took out a lot of trees and those vacant lots. However, it is easier to access overall and a net gain.

On your left at this point is the TAMU golf course, on your right is the Eastgate neighborhood. There's a decommissioned fire station and city hall (more on that later--the wall was repainted from white to its current color at some point in the not-too-distant past, and they didn't repaint the center of an "o"), and a Chili's built in 1991, at 1063 Texas Avenue. I don't know what was here before. Behind the Chili's is a large apartment building.
Chili's, May 2014 with Thomas Park Lofts behind it.
Chili's sign, May 2014. A recent visit to Dallas showed that the chain is undergoing a remodel with a new logo.

Going down this stretch, we find...
Burdett & Son new location, with Allstate and Brazos Valley Computers. There's another odd structure in the back that I didn't get a picture of...
A small building with a florist and a "We Buy Gold" place (May 2014).
Raising Cane's, May 2014. This was built in 2006 and replaced Kerri's Stacked Enchiladas, originally a Sambo's and later Wings-N-More.

Next to it we find our "cursed restaurant spot": what was originally Coach Norton's Pancake House, what was most recently Sully's Sports Bar & Grill, and what will soon be Torchy's Tacos!

After that, we will be in Eastgate.

There's a Century 21 office, and next to it is this interesting old Mobil that closed in 2004 (to the best of my memory) and was converted to Stratta Auto Repair for a number of years. I never released these pictures because the direct sunlight tended to mess them up, but here they are.
Looking at the garage, September 2013. Sorry my thumb partially obscures the shot. It was bright!
Another view, September 2013. I think that chimney is from another building which I believe may be part of the same complex. I remember the name of the business was written on the side wall facing Lincoln, but I'll have to do more research into it.
The pumps are still intact, September 2013. What a time warp!
Mobil signs, September 2013. A lone shadow looks in.
September 2013.
September 2013.

Across the street is Lincoln Road, which connects to University Drive on the other side but relatively poor access to Texas Avenue. A small T-Mobile here, as well as a building that contains Aggieland Cycling, which has added another location of this writing. The former Texaco is here, having been this way for about 10 years.

Next to that is Lupe Tortilla, an establishment that opened in 2012. This used to be Red Lobster from the mid-1980s (one of the first big chains to arrive in College Station, sometime in the early 1980s) until about 2007 when it moved. As you can see from my picture taken in May 2014, you can tell that it used to be a Red Lobster (813 Texas Avenue).

Lupe Tortilla.

Prior to about 1995 or so when construction of the Lone Star Pavilion began, the Red Lobster's parking lot was absolutely massive. Next to it was the old Oakridge Steakhouse, which later became Mama's Pizza (moved from the "cursed spot" down the street) [I heard this became a restaurant called "Papa's Pizza" after the split from the Mama's Pizza chain, and yes, it was a chain. Is this true?]. This was at 807 Texas Avenue and later became a clothing store(?) called Ladies & Lords. Behind it is the "Computer Access Service Center" at 809 Texas. At about where these two unfortunate buildings were was demolished for Lone Star Pavilion which came with its own stoplight. A good chunk of that huge parking lot was demolished for the new strip mall's parking lot.


Early 1990s aerial.

Here's two pictures of the Lone Star Pavilion as it stands today. Former shops in-line include Golf Etc., HobbyTown USA (later moved), and for a time, another Zuka Juice/Jamba Juice, which closed around 2001. There are also that I missed.

Toward Barnes & Noble.
Toward Best Buy.

Next to the strip center is an On the Border, which sat on the old Texas 707 buildings which were demolished, though a large part of it remains to this day. Next up is Taco Cabana, historic site of Saber Inn. Here's a picture from Henry Mayo showing this part of Texas Avenue in 1969 with a bunch of "clutter" on the roadside. You can make out a Philips 66, aforementioned Saber Inn, Texaco, a long-gone restaurant called Want-a-Burger, and a few others. The Shell is beyond University, we'll get to that later.


The next side street is Live Oak, which has a number of other restaurants and services. Behind Taco Cabana was La Barronena Ranch Steakhouse in the 1990s (at 103 Live Oak, no ad, so I don't know if it had a tilde over the n or not), then became College Station Seafood, which closed in January 2011, then became Oceans Bar & Grill, and finally a Vietnamese restaurant called Vy's Kitchen Asian Cuisine in July 2012. This restaurant was the same ownership (and menu) of Vietnamese Taste.

At 607 Texas Avenue, La Quinta Inn and a restaurant share a space. Opening sometime in the early 1980s, the original restaurant was called Julie's Place, and apparently not the only one around since it was Julie's Place No. 139. There's some Houston restaurants that I suspect were JPs at some point. Boasting a menu of hamburgers and onion soup, Julie's Place closed in January 1987 after a murder (there was a story on MyBCS, though I'm sure I had heard it elsewhere about how the manager actually swallowed the key to the safe and the stabbings were to retrieve the key, but I'm not sure on that since that's just a comment on the forum and the official court summary makes no mention of the key-swallowing incident). By 1989, it had reopened as Bombay Bicycle Club (not the 1990s, phone book lists BBC in that era). Around 1996 it became a Denny's.


Next to Denny's was Adult Video at 603 Texas Avenue. Adult Video was a small brick building that faced Texas Avenue on a lot that (apparently) once held three very small houses. Legally operating as "Dolar Video Inc." (as that what's it was officially) and operating out of Irving, apparently, Adult Video had its name in large, red block letters shining out to the Texas Avenue side (the building was where Fuego's dirt parking lot is now). It was a huge NIMBY for years from its opening in the early 1980s, and in 1994, clerk was shot in the head. According to the company profile listed above, it eventually shuttered due to tax reasons (this is backed up by other sources) but I seem to remember that in the final days, the "ADULT" part was removed, with only "VIDEO" showing, possibly (though I can't say for sure) an attempt to go legitimate. It shuttered in 2004. Around 2009, the now-vacant building was finally removed, and along with another house razed around the same time, a restaurant initially filing under the name "Al Carbon Street Taco Grill" appeared. An article that describes the extremely janky operations can be found here, though the date is wrong, it was originally published two years earlier. When ACSTG finally opened later that year in 2010, now Fuego Tortilla Grill, it quickly zoomed to be extremely popular. Despite a poor location and bad parking, Fuego Tortilla Grill became wildly successful, even in light of new competitors on the horizon and a salmonella outbreak.

Unfortunately, I don't have a picture for Fuego, when I thought I did. Another for another day, I suppose.

Next to Fuego is Poplar Street, the road its on, and after that, a U-Haul that served as a Diamond Shamrock from 1989 to around 1998 when it closed due to the road construction (widening) at 601 Texas Avenue. Coming up next, you'll see some more stuff, including what happened to Pizza Inn and also a mini-golf course...

¡¡POST UNDER CONSTRUCTION BELOW!!

Ramada Inn - Historic site. It must have looked awesome back in the day, but I assure you, the tower that later protruded from it was not so much.
Snowflake Donuts - In different times, it was a Schlotzsky's, and before that, the Dutch Kettle Snack Bar (not the Kettle like today, that's different). It's gone now, of course, to be redeveloped as part of Northpoint Crossing.

Texas Avenue in Bryan I don't have a lot of currently. It's four laned most of the way but includes some wide shoulders in parts since it's crammed with businesses.

Manor East Mall - Now Tejas Center, of course. It was once a real enclosed mall.
The Walgreens at Villa Maria - Replaced some interesting buildings (par for the course).

And Beyond!

Unfortunately, past Villa Maria is in many ways outside the main scope of the site. I'd like to cover it in great deal, as there's all sorts of old and interesting things out there, like old motels (Holiday Plaza Motel) and old gas stations. If you want to help out, write a comment or send me an email. It's that easy. We can make this complete. Sadly, I don't have a lot of material in that direction. One of these posts doesn't even have any pictures.

Kroger - No longer with us, now a strip center. It once had a "Superstore" of its own.
Weingarten - Also, the crummiest AppleTree in town.
Wienerschnitzel - An old A-frame where you can enjoy hot dogs just as Texas Avenue travelers did four decades before.
Greyhound Bus Station - Historic. A run-down old bus station. The current occupant, Chicken Express, cleans up that corner nicely, but it lost a lot of character in the process.

Updates
5/11/14: First marked update, added photos down to Sunset Gardens. Updated link to Texas Avenue Crossing. Wrote post down to Francis and Texas Avenue.
5/12: Wrote and added photos regarding the Eastgate area, but not actually up to the Eastgate area itself.
5/16: Finished up to Eastgate.
5/27: Added Mobil.
5/28: Added Red Lobster/Lupe Tortilla, made mention of that strip center.
6/3: Added back in some 1996 stuff, stoplight, behind Oakridge, fixed Aggieland Cycling, now up to Taco Cabana.
6/7: All the way up to University Drive East. A few ads and photos added.
6/18: Prepping it to be cut again, as it's getting too long.
7/15: Made some updates. Haven't been adding in the cut features though.

Coming up soon we'll add more photos or links of photos to this page. Or more info.

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)

Furrow (everyone called it "Furrow's", though) was the main go-to hardware store in the 1990s for me, though it was open by at least 1985, as this ad is above (but not much sooner, probably 1982 at the earliest). 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 or early 2002. 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).

Friday, June 21, 2013

Old TI Plant

No picture today, nor even an address. Something a bit different.

Now 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 until about a year and a half ago.

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 15, 2013

The Original Mess Hall

Although not a simple outbound link in "The Week of Updates", this is not new content and will be renamed and sorted back into the index. This is to clear out space for "Aggie Food" becoming a "Special Collection".

I put this one on here because of a few reasons, one, it's the first building dedicated to feeding Aggies, two, it's a cool building, and had one of the shortest lifespans of any TAMU building, with just 13 years standing when it was built in 1898 and burning to the ground in 1911 (and then Old Main caught fire about a year later...yikes). It was located somewhere on modern-day Jones Street (dorms and the walkways between them are what replaced it) if my sources are correct. Two pictures are below, the first of them being from an architecture magazine from 1897, which shows the layout of the building and the only rendering of the building in color. Both are from TexAgs.com, with the rendering and the picture from iamtheglove and Harry Lime, respectively.




You may notice there's a small upper level in the building above the kitchen: that was where Bernard Sbisa actually lived, and his home and possessions were destroyed in that 1911 fire.

It was replaced by Sbisa a block away. That link is where you'll find out more on Sbisa Dining Center and the Underground Food Court.

Today, there's another hall in the spot...McFadden Hall. There's a plaque outside that commemorates it. It sure is a shame that it burned, as I think it's architecturally nicer than Sbisa, and with some additional improvements over the years (maintaining the fine appearance, though) it could be an iconic campus building and a great place to eat. Of course, that would still get the Northside crowd, the outsourced food (not that Sbisa food was particularly amazing prior), but no Underground. Or it's possible that the Mess Hall wouldn't get expanded (only remodeled) and there would be more places to eat overall.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Lester's


While appearing as an unassuming office building that has been vacant for the last several years (last tenant, a "Lonestar Systems Inc.") , this building was not built as such. You are in for a treat.

Lester's opened here in '73 and at least lasted until 1985, though I have no idea when it actually closed.


2504 Kent

UPDATE 10-4-13: Apparently, this still has "The Smart Shop" in tiles outside the store. Neat!

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.