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"gas nostalgia" often goes hand in hand with the growing endangerment of rural gas stations that are often small and out of date but have excellent barbecue, and the former Chevron in Wellborn was an example of this (along with Rolling Ridge Grocery).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 10-16-2023:: This had been partially updated and rewritten in 2015, but I wanted to mention that Google Street View shows the Chevron disappearing between 2008 and 2009, not 2007 as the above article states. A very old (1983) shot of the store can be seen here, as a result I've added [Phillips 66] to the post and changed it to [1980s].

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Former Ken Martin's Safari Grille

Apart from being in generally poor shape, notice that the STEAK HOUSE was removed first. Picture by author, 2013.

Although Ken Martin's Steakhouse didn't start here at 3231 East 29th Street (it was originally located at 1803 S. Texas Avenue, an auto dealership now) it did end here. Over the years, the Ken Martin restaurant empire included three Pepe's restaurants all in College Station-Bryan, with one at Post Oak Mall co-branded with steakhouse spinoff "Ken Martin's Chicken Fried Steak", Pepper's (a hamburger shop about where Harvey Washbangers is now), Fort Shiloh Steakhouse, and a few others. This building started out as an upscale restaurant called Pacific Coast Highway (1982-1984, though I suspect the exterior was different), with Ken Martin's Steakhouse moving in around 1985. 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.

UPDATE 02-28-2023 : A few things were changed since the last update in 2020, mostly streamlining and correcting dates.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

G. Rollie White Coliseum and Read Building

A sight you'll never see again! (from AggieMap, which has since removed this picture)

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 were demolished for the "new" Kyle Field, with Read gutted for the enclosed west side area (but the area seems to be completely rebuilt with no obvious leftovers from Read). In its heyday, G. Rollie was the Reed Arena of the time, hosting graduations, the A&M basketball team, and some big acts in its day, including REM, Jimmy Buffett, and even Elvis Presley.

You can see the pictures of Read and G. Rollie 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.

You could see into Read in this September 2013 picture.

Minor updates in November 2019

Monday, June 24, 2013

Manor House Motor Inn

From a 1988-1989 Aggie Football guide

I went to Adamson Lagoon many times when I was younger, and seemingly towering over the pool area (certainly if you went up to the large slide) was the larger Manor House sign, a motel that was about a quarter mile away on 2504 Texas Avenue South. I don't remember when the towering sign disappeared (as part of sign ordinances, no doubt, a similar fate befell McDonald's just a ways down the road). It also has renovated completely around the time of its name change to just "Manor Inn" (probably much needed, the Days Inn next door remained in a time warp, and it still is like that today.

The original sign (which you can see in the advertisement) looked like this except it was maroon instead of black, as it was a chain at one time, and even in 2001 a Waco location still existed. (Brazos CAD says it was built in 1982, and by 1983 it was clearly open).

UPDATE 04-17-2022: Sometime around March 2022, the hotel rebranded to Red Roof Inn following new ownership.

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

Thursday, June 20, 2013

J.J. Muggs

From The Eagle, 1985.

The advertisement above is for J.J. Muggs, one of the earliest known restaurants along the Harvey Road stretch, and opening at 1704 Kyle Avenue South (later known as George Bush Drive East). The restaurant, which opened around 1984, did not last all that long (the restaurant, a division of Pillsbury's S&A Restaurants, was "abandoned" in 1986, but the restaurant here and a few other locations lasted into 1987) and by 1988 became another restaurant known as Rita's Eaterie and Cantina, which had a few Houston locations built around the same time.

InSite Magazine, December 1989. The ceiling details are still similar today.

In 1992, after Rita's had been closed for some time, it became Garcia's, a local Mexican restaurant that ended up becoming the most well-known of the restaurants (besides Fuddruckers) that previously operated in this location.

The ad above came from a mid-1990s copy of defunct local magazine "etc." Garcia's briefly closed in January 2002 following the explosion of new restaurants in the area, with Rudy's Barbecue, Johnny Carino's, and the restaurants in the new University Drive East corridor among them. It did reopen within a few weeks but it still was not enough to save it, and ended up closing about a little more than a year later. I seem to remember it having decent food, but also had this cow head hanging from the ceiling (one that appeared to be made from papier-mâché, not a real one, obviously) that as the A/C kept going, revealed a blood red neck. That was my most vivid memory of it (I only went once).

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

Fuddruckers moved in the location in 2003. Fuddruckers (as a chain) was bought by Luby's in 2010, but the venerable cafeteria chain soon began having financial troubles. This finally came to a head when the restaurant closed "temporarily" due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis and the continuing closures of its now-struggling parent company, Luby's. In mid-July 2020 the closure was made permanent. Following the demise of Fuddruckers, Joe's Italian Restaurant would operate in the space from August 2021 to July 2022. In October 2023, iWon Korean BBQ & Hot Pot opened (with major upgrades to the interior).

UPDATE 08-03-2021: Some touch-ups, updated Fuddruckers' arrival to 2003, added new restaurant to the spot, removed [Defunct] (but not [COVID-19]). (Previous updates to the post were made in 2014, 2016, 2019, and 2020).
UPDATE 01-19-2023: Updated to reflect the next chapter of the restaurant space (Joe's Italian has come and gone).
UPDATE 10-10-2023: Updated to add iWon Korean BBQ & Hot Pot.
UPDATE 01-04-2024: Minor fix to links.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

College Station Business Center

Looking east from the west end, where the beer supply store currently is.

Not to be confused with "The Business Center at College Station" off of Lakeway Drive, College Station Business Center (2151 Harvey Mitchell Parkway, originally numbered as 1501 FM 2818) is a cluster of mid-1980s buildings, with a small strip center portion facing Harvey Mitchell Parkway.

To me, the most notable tenant here (besides Paint N More, discussed in a bit), was Acrofit Gymnastics, formerly Linder's Gymnastics, and oriented toward kids and teenagers. I don't know when Linder's opened (between 1989 and 1993) but it was their second location (original on 2603 Rountree), and by 1998 only this location remained, suite 107 at that, now under the name of Acrofit Gymnastics.

My 1998 phone book mentions that it had a Houston location, here's some 1996 forum postings regarding it. It seems to suggest that Acrofit was renamed before new ownership took over in the early 1990s, but it give more information on the Houston location, which you can read toward the bottom of the new Houston - FM 1960 page on Carbon-izer.

About the time the Houston location moved to Kemah (and a new website was launched) in 2004, the facility closed. However, I tend to remember it pretty well, because it was one of those I went to in my youth, though emphasis on fitness never really stuck, I'm more fat and out of shape these days. Acrofit's predecessor, Linder's, had to be one of the original tenants there as it had warehouse ceilings (complete with visible insulation), an upper floor with windows looking out into the main gymnasium area, 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) and some framed pictures of Olympian gymnasts, and their own "AcroBus" (which was sold to Aerofit after closure with no initial changes in paint).

At the end closest to Longmire was a hardware store called Paint N More in the 1990s. It closed around the year 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. After that a fly-by-night rug outlet occupied the space for a while, but it has since departed as well.

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 Aggieland Computer Repair and What's the Buzz Coffee Company. There was also a wholesaler's business back there, at least the last time I checked. I took a few pictures of this area, but they're not very good.

But aside from Acrofit and the end anchor, most of the tenants never really stuck out to me, being there and gone in a few years and mostly non-retail. Things may be changing, as a newer tenant, Brew Supply Haus, is expanding its space, and features not only supplies for home brewing but also a few novelty items (like soap made with beer) and gourmet food items (black garlic).

Beyond that, here's some other tenants that have come and gone.

2818 Grooming - This pet grooming place on the west end for much of the 2000s, which I recall the temporary sign being far better than the permanent one (an ugly backlit white-on-red sign, rectangular).

Action Printing - I remember this being roughly where Acrofit was, opening in late 2004/early 2005. It didn't last for more than 3-4 years.

Cycles Etc. - Briefly was here in the former Mom's Meals space before moving a block west. Used to be on Northgate, in a building that has yet to be covered as of this writing.

Dance Centre - A dancing center adjacent to Body Designs, a dancewear store, since 1982 (though it was not there, or that name, during that time). Even in the last twenty years, while the space is the same space (105) it has changed focus entirely...the modern website is exclusively adult dancing, while my 1998 advertisement is toddlers (age 2 1/2) to teens. My sister had gone here a few times when she was much younger.

Glass Doctor - Before its expansion, Brew Supply Haus occupied this space.

Mom's Meals - Early 2010s meal delivery service (suite 109).

Sign Express - Formerly Signs & Wraps by Sergio (and before that, Signs by Sergio), this place (110), as of 2016, had the "Wraps" portion of the Great Wraps that used to be at the Rise (or another defunct Great Wraps sign piece).

Southern Fastening Systems was at suite 107 (same as Acrofit, though Acrofit's space was divided) until early 2017 when it became SouthernCarlson (merger).

Thunder Computer Systems - Another mid-2000s tenant located closer to the Southwood end (might've been signed as "Thunder Computers"). Its website remained longer than the storefront did.

Finally, here's some pictures, some from me a few years back (when I had my old pre-iPhone cell phone, so no later than around early 2013) and an even older one from Loopnet (with Action Printing).

Updated March 2020

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Texan Restaurant

This closed-up convenience store is all that remains of what was one of the nicer restaurants in town.

In February 1948, H.G. Burgh and his wife, a couple that had recently moved from Seattle, opened a drive-in restaurant called "The Ice Burgh" at 3204 South College Avenue, serving the usual drive-in fare of hamburgers, sandwiches, chicken, and ice cream. By 1952, the restaurant was known as (and possibly under the same ownership), as "The Texan Drive-In", which a 1952 ad claimed it was "already famous for delicious foods". However, due to poor records, it's not known if the Ice Burgh became the Texan, or the Ice Burgh closed and was replaced with in the Texan.

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

In any case, by 1967 the restaurant was somewhat run-down, and sold to Robert Tapley and his wife Diana. The Tapleys slowly reworked the menu into a gourmet experience, renaming the Texan Drive-In into the Texan Restaurant and we have the 1971 ad above. Known for its chef-prepared food and delicious salads, the restaurant entertained and fed a loyal clientele for years (One of the comments I received on the Texan on this website was an A&M grad student who worked tables part-time in 1980 and saw Gene Hackman at a table, but he probably wasn't a regular). As chains infiltrated the markets, and 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 that time, 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 early 2000.

By 2003, it reopened as Tobacco & More, a discount cigarette/convenience store, but it closed down by late 2016 before the construction of South College Avenue, which ended up closing off the main driveway. The only access into the business is through Fairway Drive.

Thanks to the Carnegie Center for assistance in this article, which was updated in September 2019. Additionally, InSite Magazine (5/00) was of assistance in the making of this article.

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.

The building at 1503 Texas Avenue South was originally 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 (even a decade into the "East Bypass"' existence, there were the duplexes on the frontage road in Bryan, the mall, and Plantation Oaks Apartments).

While it hosted guests for the next three decades as a Holiday Inn, the most interesting part of the story of the Holiday Inn was 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 above talks about this in great detail, and given that the Holiday Inn restaurants (among others) attracted guests even in cities with more dining choices, I'm guessing that the idea of advertising a hotel restaurant as an independent restaurant has largely gone out of style, though the restaurants with Holiday Inn seemed unique enough into the 1990s to stand alone.

From what I could tell, the first restaurant (at least as of 1980) was the Brazos Room Restaurant & Lounge. It wasn't especially well-publicized, but the newspaper did still have advertisements 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.

"American menu also available"

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", and in 2001, Beckendorf's. Naturally, there are going to be some I missed.

Holiday Inn's got your goat...and your fajitas, too!

A new Holiday Inn opened off the freeway around late 2005/early 2006 (which we have profiled here) and while that was in the works according to a 2005 directory...

Seems like a simple case of moving...
...the actual deal looks like the original hotel dissolved its franchise agreement before the new Holiday Inn was built. The same owners since 1994 (phone book advertising also indicate that they owned the Ramada Inn practically across the street during this time) renamed the hotel to Clarion Hotel by September 2005 (restaurant report cards from The Eagle) but by October 2005 the new Holiday Inn was still under construction (Google Earth imagery).

From a source that I forgot when I originally posted it, here's what the Four Points/Holiday Inn looked like as a Clarion .

By February 2009, Clarion had been converted to "College Station Inn" (which changed the Clarion sign at the top of the hotel), and sometime in late 2010 the hotel closed. After a major renovation inside and out that took place in 2011, Four Seasons by Sheraton opened, a mid-range brand owned by Starwood Hotels & Resorts, in April 2012. Four Points had a small in-house eatery, the Century Café, which was one of the first clients of New Republic Brewing Company, even before they started making cans.

In September 2020 the hotel closed during a downturn in the restaurant and hospitality industry (do I even need to explain it?) and was removed from Marriott's website (Marriott had bought Starwood during this time).

This time, there was no second chance at the hotel. After over two years of abandonment, it was announced that it was to be Melrose College Station (not to be confused with the clothing store in the mall), an assisted living facility, which opened late 2023. I'll leave you with one last look at the hotel as a Holiday Inn when it was still doing well, advertising in a local tourist guide.
Notice the text below the sign has been added in after the photo was taken.
UPDATE 10-01-2020: The hotel closed around September 2020 permanently for unclear reasons, and has been removed from Marriott's website. The rest of the article is unchanged, however, and will probably update again when it inevitably reopens under a new name...or gets demolished.

UPDATE 10-12-2020: A recently uncovered picture to be used in a future version of the article shows that the "square" was on the top level was never there as a Holiday Inn, only getting branded with Clarion after the hotel swapped names. That line has been removed from the article. A full rewrite of this article will arrive when the property changes hands again.

UPDATE 10-15-2020: Clarion picture restored as part of "featured post" upgrades.

UPDATE 04-01-2023: Full rewrite done following announcement of the hotel becoming Melrose with a new picture, new mention of the Brazos Room, and a new picture.

UPDATE 12-19-2023: A few minor touch-ups including mentioning opening.

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

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.

Today, 2500 Texas Avenue South is 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 opened in 1977 as Pelican's Wharf, an upscale-leaning steak-and-seafood eatery with restaurants in other Texas cities (the last location ,in Victoria, closed in 2010) 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.


Pasghetti's was the second restaurant in the space, though it's not clear when Pelican's Wharf closed and Pasghetti's opened (possibly as early as 1990), which could build a sauce-and-pasta bowl presumably with a drink and a breadstick) for around $4.95. Refills were a dollar. (For comparison, at the time, one of my favorite places to eat in 2012, the Commons food court featured a stand 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

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 was (in 1998) 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 believe was 2003, though I can't find first-hand sources for such. It's a shame a vintage restaurant has to be used this way on a prominent corner, but it is what it is.

UPDATE 06-02-2021: The sixth update for this page did a mild rewrite for this article including adding better opening/closing dates. Also it added [southwest parkway] to the labels.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Redtex Center

Picture from author, August 2019

Originally reported as part of the Aggieland Inn article when, according to a CSTX New Development list (no longer available, at least not very easy to find) had 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 the redevelopment, but it wasn't.

In 2013, a strip mall was put up on the site, with the area's first Sleep Number by Select Comfort and Aspen Dental, with a location of St. Joseph Express being included a year later (I believe briefly it had the pre-CHI St. Joseph logo) but it closed down by 2018. This had the address of 1530 Texas Avenue, along with the name Redtex Center (REDmond Drive and TEXas Avenue), though I don't believe this was always part of the development.

This is what it used to look like according to Loopnet, though the listing has since removed.

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, but 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.

UPDATE 11-11-2022: "Shawarma Factory" opened in 2022 in suite 100 (former St. Joe's site). [Restaurants] and [Texas Avenue] added to post.