Saturday, September 14, 2019

Texaco, Longmire Drive

Picture by author, September 2019

One more story before a major rewrite of the post on the College Station Walmart is done, the gas station on the corner of Longmire and FM 2818, southeast corner. Originally addressed as 1600 FM 2818 before becoming 2201 Longmire Drive, the gas station opened after Walmart but before Albertsons, opening around 1989 as perhaps the last "original" Circle K store to be built in the area. By the time Circle K left the area in 1999 and sold the stores to Duke & Long as mentioned in the post on Circle K Truxtop, the Circle K stores in Houston were long gone, having sold those to National Convenience Stores, which rebranded them as Stop N Go, which ultimately turned out to be a fortuitous move as whatever was left of those stores plus new ones were re-taken by Circle K within the last year as of this writing.

As for this store, the name eventually gave way to "Handi Stop" after Everyday, with the Conoco trading in its name for Diamond Shamrock (the last prototype with an italicized logo) in the early 2000s and Texaco taking command in the late 2000s as new owner Valero discontinued the Diamond Shamrock name, a move surely unnoticed by the former "Sevcik's Texaco" across the street.

Friday, September 13, 2019

Antonio's Pizza by the Slice

Picture from summer 2013.

Originally posted over at this page, Antonio's Pizza by the Slice is actually a branch of an East Coast pizza chain with no locations in New York, but in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and of course, College Station, Texas.

Antonio's has been at Northgate for a while, at least as far back as 2004 (somewhere in that time period), and back then, College Main was a normal road with sidewalks, bike lanes, and two functional traffic lanes. That was until College Station decided to turn their half of College Main into a pedestrian mall while the Bryan side of College Main was made into an attractive roadway with nice lighting, concrete, and bike lanes. The "new" College Main is a charmless void, without even a single tree and basically serves as another bar-hopping plaza like the main Northgate Promenade.

According to archival city documents, the site of Antonio's was a bicycle shop in 2003 (it appears to be the first location of Cycles Etc.), and previous tenants include Byte Me Computers circa late 1997 (and in a 1996-1997 Chamber of Commerce Directory, it was "Software and Hardware Exchange"), and in 1995 split between Lacey's (jewelry store) and "Perfect Tan III". A 1995 document estimates the construction at 1930, BCAD says 1952 but an archival photo that shows Court's University Shoe Repair in the space.

A 1990 planning document also mentions a proposed Thundercloud Subs in the space, but I'm not sure it ever opened. It did however, open next to Albertsons.

Like many a student, it was Antonio's at my time at A&M, fairly inexpensive (at least prior to 2014), decent-tasting pizza with large slices and, unlike what many of the campus establishments had, Coca-Cola products. It's been a while since I had Antonio's, and I can't really say anything particularly good or bad about it. If you arrived at this site, hoping for a review, sorry.

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Arby's Southwest Parkway

This picture was taken back in 2013.

Arby's sole College Station location (and Bryan, too, though they briefly had one of their own) was built in 1984 at 1800 Southwest Parkway with a new addition around 1999 that added a large, modern facade (I remember being very impressed with the remodeled restaurant, but I don't think the restaurant seating was enlarged). Arby's has stayed put even with major closures which did a number on the Houston area, some looking like this or even newer, and this store has not received the newer logo yet (thankfully). I don't recall what the old restaurant looked like, but I'm pretty sure it was closer to this one in San Marcos, except with a more brown-ish colored roof.

Sunday, September 8, 2019

Notes-N-Quotes

Remember back in the good old days of 2013 when University Drive wasn't a completely awful road to drive through?


Editor's Note: I admit to cutting a number of articles from the site, with the number as high as 30. Most of them were old, outdated stuff that had the content removed for years anyway and other things nobody actually cared for (that could describe this entire site, but I digress). One of these was entitled "Northgate: University Drive", which I intended to keep for a while (see the "Unupdated Index", still with about 25 articles as of this writing) but a bizarre bug wiped out a few years worth of updates. Enjoy this post that was vastly expanded from the original material written for the University Drive post.

For years, this was the home of Notes-N-Quotes, from 1992 to around 2015 when it shut down the University Drive storefront. Technically, the old website has a link to where you can still buy the flagship product⁠—classroom notes packets⁠—but the phone number is for Paradigm Books out of Austin.

Prior to Notes-N-Quotes it was a gas station, with it being listed in a 1989 directory as Dean's Exxon, and a 1959 newspaper article (the gas station was built in 1956) mentions it was a Humble originally, a name later retired for the Enco name (and eventually Exxon). The gas station likely closed when the road was rebuilt the last time (an etching near the curb gave an Aggie's graduating year as 1988, barely visible on Google Maps Street View, and only the old one). The driveways were cut off likely during this time.

In the picture above (taken by the author), you can see the Jin's/Lippman building pre-fire and the auxiliary bank building.

Since Notes-N-Quotes closed, it has been mostly vacant, only serving occasionally as apartment leasing. What will be the permanent future of the building?