Monday, July 1, 2013

Post Oak Mall Stores, 1992-2002

Originally posted as "Post Oak Mall, Part One - The Anchors" before the re-do into the current form in January 2022, this covers the mall's interior stores (well, mostly--there are bound to be gaps) from 1992 to 2002. Like the 1982-1992 page, prior to around the early 2000s, the mall directories used an arbitrary numbering system, starting from 1 near Wilson's/Service Merchandise (originally at one of the mall's corners) and continuing up to 137 (later 155 as the JCPenney wing was built). This later switched to suite numbers. To keep things consistent, both will be used.

Also to keep things consistent, the anchors will be referred to such as they did in this era, with Bealls, Service Merchandise, Sears, JCPenney, Dillard's, and Foley's.

Here's my 1998 map (at least I believe it's 1998, as it matches the evidence I have) map from an older post, though it's a little hard to read and wrinkled (click to see full resolution).

[Click here to see the back of the directory]

As this was built off the existing 1980s list, some descriptions are identical if it didn't change. In the creation of this list, I did have a 2001 directory which I referenced, but currently it is not added. It may be added in the future to Carbon-izer, however, and I'll link to it if I do.

1 / 9002. This was listed as Summit Stationers in the late 1990s directory but vacant according to a 2000 tenant list.

2 / 9000. Command Performance in late 1990s and early 2000s. This was a haircutting salon in numerous malls even back in 1980, though it seems to be extinct today.

3 / 4044. Spencer Gifts...this was in the spot for years. I'm not sure when it moved out to a slightly different space but it was here from the mid-1990s to well past 2002. They always used to have a lot of lava lamps.

4 / 4042. Lady Foot Locker in 1998. By 2000 it was Deck the Walls.

5 / 4040. Christie's (jewelry) in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

6/4038. Corn Dog 7 was one of those places that sprouted up exclusively in malls in the South during the 1980s and while I've yet to locate one in the wild since 2008 (Mall of the Mainland, since closed), it was here until the around the mid-2000s. 7/4034. Chick-fil-A, a charter tenant to the mall survived to almost 30 years of the mall, closing December 24, 2011 due to high rents. There were other issues too, like the mall not doing renovations (by the time they did, it was too late). It was a bit unique in that it had a small dine-in area with some Aggie memorabilia on the wall, and was a full-featured Chick-fil-A (no "Express" here). It was also the first in town, long before the one at Briarcrest was built, or before the campus CFA Express locations, or before Chick-fil-A started to sprout up with ever-more convenient locations even if those locations are consistently packed. This was my first Chick-fil-A, and I had a lot of ice cream here over the years and some chicken nuggets, but no sandwiches.

8/4032. Manchu Wok, the requisite mall Chinese food. Tax records indicate it opened in 1991.

9/4030. Roman Delight Pizza opened in fall 1998. It isn't on the '97 directory. It remains today (well as of this writing in '21, though signage changed from what it looked like originally and certainly through the cut-off of 2002 in this section.

10/4028. Subway opened in this newer location at some point in the late 1980s or early 1990s (though in tax records retroactively changed it to the new location). It was here until around 2005.

11/4024. As 11 & 12 were combined in the previous decade, the McDonald's was here from 1987 until 2002 when the local franchisee retired, closed the store, and became Sonic by late 2002 (no drive-in). The McDonald's was a walk-up location, but I believe it served a full menu. The Orange Julius space next to it (referred to in the previous document) had completely disappeared by the early 1990s; it was reconfigured.

16 / 6016. Beeper Boutique c. 1997 and 2000. The space for 15 (6018) is vacant in both versions.

17 / 6020. By 2000, this was Hat World, which kept that name for years. (They rebranded to Lids at some point, but that's outside the scope of this section).

18 / 6014. Merle Norman was in this spot for years since at least 1984 (they were not an original February 1982 charter tenant). At some point in the 2000s, they moved out to Post Oak Square, but it didn't last too long after that.

19 / 6013. Pretzel Time was here from 1994 to 1997. Later they moved to a kiosk (K-11) after this. It was combined into the new Gymboree.

20 / 6010. Babbage's opened here in 1992. In 2002 it was renamed GameStop following a corporate rebrand initiated a few years prior by then-parent Barnes & Noble. It should be noted that in its heyday as Babbage's, it included mainline computer software as well—my family's copy of Kid Pix Studio was bought here.

21 / 6021. Gymboree opened in 1997 (March 1997, another clue to when that directory was from) and occupied two spaces, including the space that used to be #19. The former Pretzel Time is where the main entrance. It may have had a second entrance to the food court at some point, but I just remember an empty wall with Gymboree's logo.

22 / 6022. Villa Italian Specialties was here approximately from 1988 to 1997. The 2000 directory doesn't have a space for it. The space was absorbed by Afterthoughts (later Icing by Claire's, then just Claire's when Icing and Claire's switched places) by 2001.

23 / 6008. Afterthoughts since 1988, I'm not sure when they completed their expansion into the food court area but it wasn't until after 2001 when it was rebranded.

24 / 6006. Wicks 'N Sticks - This mall candle chain was still here in the 1990s and early 2000s.

25 / 6004. Lewis Shoe Gallery was here from 1985 into 1995. By 1998, it was absorbed into the Wicks 'N Sticks space.

26 / 6002. Gordon's - This jewelry store appears to have moved to this location in 1993 and remained up until 2020.

27 / 6000. Swensen's - Ice cream and other foods. A location in Culpepper Plaza lasted for years longer, but Swensen's at the mall existed until 1994. It was briefly "The Yogurt Culture" in 1995-1996 before becoming Smoothies Ice Cream & Yogurt in 1997, and would be so until the mid-2000s. This was a chain, there was one other location in Deerbrook Mall.

28 / 4020. Time Out Family Amusement Center - This video arcade was in the mall for many years, I believe into the early 2000s.

29 / 4019. Taste of the Tropics kept its storefront here until the mid-2000s when it moved to a different location in the food court.

30 / 4018. Cinnabon (yes, a real Cinnabon, not a display case at Schlotzsky's) was here from around 1993 to 1997. Frustratingly, I did see a picture of Cinnabon in the mall...the counter was a bit off-set in the mall corridor to allow a few extra tables for its patrons but not enough for a full storefront like Chick-fil-A. By 1998 it was Friedman's Jewelers, which it still was as of 2000.

32 / 4016. The Wild Pair

At some point in the 1990s, the parent company of The Wild Pair and Jeans West, Edison Brothers, combined the spaces into the new location of J. Riggings, but that closed and around 1999 this was briefly All Wound Up, a novelty toy store (later bought by Borders) and by 2000, had become a location of Aggieland Outfitters.

33 / 4014. Jeans West (charter tenant) did last into the 1990s before it was closed and combined with the above store.

34 / 4012. Brooks Fashions (women's clothing) in 1982, with some references online to knitted sweaters. Around 1995, Brooks Fashions went bankrupt and Casual Corner moved in.

35 / 4010. County Seat from day one, which lasted until around 1999. Wikipedia mentions it was owned by Chicago department store Carson Pirie Scott for a time, before the latter was bought by Bergner's and spun off again. By 2000, it reopened as Limited Too.

36 / 4008. Butler Shoes in 1982. 5-7-9 operated here from around November 1996 to July 1999.

37 / 4006. By 1997, Camelot Music had relocated to this location in the mall. In 2001, it was purchased by Trans World Entertainment, and rebranded to "fye" in the early 2000s.

38 / 4004. Payless ShoeSource was here probably since the early 1990s when expanding into the Open Country space (which took 38/4004)

39 / 4003. Zales (former Corrigan's) was still here in 1997 and 2000.

41 / 4003A. Carved back out of the former Rox-Z and taking the 41 title (but with 4003A as the suite number) was Adventure Travel. It was here around 1998-2000 but there are no other records handy as to when it departed other than the fact it was gone by 2003.

42/ 4000. EyeMasters had been here by 1988, replacing Rox-Z and taking most of its former space. It eventually rebranded as Visionworks (which is still there) but that all came later. It boasts an exterior and interior entrance.

Like in the 1982-1992 list, there doesn't seem to be anything in "43" nor does it have a corresponding suite number.

44 / 3026. Again, like past and present, Casa Olé operated here through the 1990s. It is now one of the oldest operating Tex-Mex restaurants in town at this point.

48 / 3020. With 46 absorbed and no 47 in any of the old maps, this was Coach House Cards & Gifts at least since the early 1990s after the demise of Peck & Peck. Coach House survived for many years after.

49 / 3018. Great American Cookie Co. did not change this decade and even survived the next one.

50 / 3016. General Nutrition Center - GNC survived at least to the early 2010s.

51 / 3014. Bath & Body Works (#218) first opened in 1994, and this was its home during the early years, into 2002.

52 / 3012. FootAction was here, possibly as early as 1985. It survived until around 2004.

54 / 3010. Vanity, a women's clothing boutique, was here from 1993 to 2004.

55 / 3008. Rugged Outdoors was here as of 2000 (so says the website), though it later moved closer to Sears.

56 / 3006. It appears that Scripture Haven has been here since 1985 and as of this writing (January 2022) still exists, though the owners are about the retire and the store will come to an end. The store sells Christian books and other products.

57 / 3004. Radio Shack - Radio Shack continued to live on through the 1990s. It wasn't until the company having major trouble in the early 2010s that it closed.

58 / 3002. Catalena Hatters / The Texas Store opened in 1994 and moved out a decade later. Although originally associated with the defunct Catalena Hatters (which was on Main Street in Downtown Bryan), the replacement to The Texas Store relocated outside of the mall near where Chipotle is on University Drive East these days. (No, I don't see a #59).

60 / 3000. At this point, the corridor hits Dillard's and continues to work clock-wise toward Sears. Starting out this section is World Bazaar, closing in 1992 after being here since 1989, and had a few tenants since. There was "Lam's" in 1994 (appeared to be the same "Lam's Silk Garden", which moved around a few times and will be covered in this page), and "Outback Sheepskin" around 1997. This was the store listed in a taxpayer website and there is zero information on the Internet about it. By 2000, it became Ann's Bridal & Formalwear, which it would be for a few years after that.

61 / 1022. This was the original Coach House Cards & Gifts location but it looks like it was mostly seasonal Christmas stores for most of the 1990s (and thus vacant the rest of the year). In 2000, it was Dollar Corner, which it was in 2001. It seems strange that something so dowdy as a dollar store could hang out next to Dillard's even in 2000, but I guess Dillard's was doing well enough that it didn't matter.

62 / 1020. Children and juniors' apparel retailer 4Ever Young was here from September 1999 to 2002. While the mall directory doesn't list it, tax records this was "Art & Craft Showplace" from December 1995 to December 1997, though it's likely this was just a temporary store that did not open regularly. You can see an ad in this Battalion page though it doesn't have a logo.

63/ 1012. By the time the late 1990s, a large portion of the corner of stores between Dillard's and Sears was occupied by The Limited. By 2005, this would be absorbed into the even larger Steve & Barry's, but that comes later...

68 / 1010. Skipping directly to 68 was Royal Optical c. 1997 and a location of Pro Soccer by 1999-2000. Pro Soccer is still around, located in a shabby little strip center located across from the mall on Harvey Road...but it hasn't been at the mall in years.

69 / 1008. This was "Visions" from 2000 to 2002 (gift store). Other than that, I have no information on this space.

70 / 1006. The 1990s map has this vacant, but the 2000 website lists this as Brazos Co. Sheriff's Station.

72 / 1002. This was Oshman's Sporting Goods (described in the 1980s page) until 2002.

76 / 2002. C. 1999 this was the home of Brazos Valley Troupe, but from 1999 to 2000 was Sleep City (#7). By fall 2001, it was Rugged Outdoors.

78 / 2006. Waterbed Gallery in the 1980s directories. The 1990s directory has this as a vacancy, and I can't seem to find it in the 2000 website either. By the time the 2001 print directory came out, it was renumbered as 77 and where the sheriff's department had relocated to.

85 / 2018. By 1998, Lerner New York had occupied this large space (absorbing several other stores). It would stay here up until the early 2010s, but changed to New York & Company in the early 2000s.

87 / 2020. Lane Bryant (#885) was here since around 1993 and bit it around 2016 (which is outside of this section's time frame).

89 / 2022. There's no #88, but in 2001 this was The Buckle.

90 / 2024. Kinney Shoes (charter tenant) was here into 1990s. After "they killed Kinney" in 1998 (bankruptcy), by 2000 this was operating as Pacific Sunwear.

91 / 2026. The Gap operated a large store here for many years, opened sometime around 1993. In 2011, the location closed, but during the 1990s and early 2000s (Gap's heyday), it was located here.

95 / 2034. Little Havana Cigar Company was here from 1997 to 1999. From 1999 to 2004 it was News Plus, a small newstand store.

97 / 2038. This was Cinema 3 prior to 1998 (Plitt originally, then Carmike). The Wikipedia article for Post Oak Mall (which I will NOT list) had that it closed for 2000 for years (unchangeable due to a particularly aggressive user who, based on edit history, was on Wikipedia 22 hours a day), based on an SEC filing that mentioned the cinema was closed by 2000. I still don't know when it actually closed...but by 2001, Cactus Canyon was preparing to move in, and later it was known as "The Canyon". I seem to remember that there was some sort of incident that gave it a bad reputation and had to change its name. Cactus Canyon (and the bars that followed it) did not open up into the mall.

101 / 5002. Due to a reconfiguration at some point, Chelsea Street Pub & Grill was directly across from Cactus Canyon on the left side of the main entrance to the mall. This was where the mall faced the freeway (despite having a Harvey Road address). Chelsea Street Pub was a popular mall-based restaurant in the 1980s and 1990s in the South, but the restaurant here came late (opening in 1996) and only lasted five years. It did outlast Luby's (see below, 149) but not for much longer. It operated after mall hours until last call. It was also one of the last stores here to actually open into the mall.

100 / 5000. American Eagle Outfitters faced the main mall corridor. It has been here at least since 1998, and I believe is even there still today.

102 / 5008. All resources I have indicate this was a large Express (women's)/Structure (men's) store in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

103 / 5010. My late 1990s/early 2000s directories show that this exterior-facing store was a U.S. Navy recruitment office.

104 / 5012. From 1992 to almost twenty years later, this was Trade Secret, a chain salon. In 2010, the parent company went bankrupt.

105 / 5014. This was still Foot Locker into the 2000s.

107 / 5016. There is no 106, but this was Keta's Hallmark in 1998, into the late 2000s.

108 / 5018. Kay-Bee Toys closed in 2003 after being at the mall for over 20 years.

110 / 5020. Gadzooks opened here in 1987, and continued well into the mid-2000s. Until 2003 it had clothing for men and women, and had a cool neon sign also.

111 / 5022. The original location of Journeys opened here in 1996. I'm not sure when it moved closer to the food court, but it was after 2002.

112 / 5024. The Coffee Beanery, Ltd. had a store here from 1993 to 2004. I guess the mall store made it work despite the franchise having failure rates. It was an actual storefront (not a kiosk) at the mall, but you can see what it might have looked like here. (Note the presence of Roy Rogers and a partial sign for The Great Hot Dog Experience in one of the pics, the latter having a presence at Post Oak Mall, but the former only having a Bryan store in the late 1960s).

114 / 5028. Circa 1998, 5028 was labeled as 113, and it was all the space of Trevor's. By 2001, Trevor's had downscaled and freed up space 113 (5026), though it still appears it was vacant in 2001.

116 / 5030. Nancy's Unique Boutique was here from late 1995 to 1999, then changed hands to become Gigi's Unique Boutique (just listed as Gi Gi's Boutique in the 2001 directory). This closed in 2003.

At this point, there was the Foley's entrance, then wrapping back around...

118 / 7000. LensCrafters was here since at least 1998 (merging 117 and 7002).

120 / 7004. "Modern Woman" was here around 1998 (same spot as 1984's "Woman's World", though they don't seem to be related). A 2000 store listing says this was "Halloween Bootique" but from a December archive. Seems to be strange that they would have should be a temporary store that shuts down by early November well into the Christmas season, but by 2001 it was the new location of Command Performance (moved from its location next to Service Merchandise).

121 / 7006. Samuel's Jewelers was here by 2001. It replaced Mission Jewelers around 1999, though they were both under common ownership by that time.

123 / 7008. Victoria's Secret was here as of 1998 and had been in the mall since around 1990. It has since substantially grown from the location as shown c. 1998.

124 / 7010. Listed as "122" in the c. 1998 directory, this was Eddie Bauer, which was here from 1995 to 2000. Around November 2000, it reopened as Abercrombie & Fitch, which it would be for almost the next decade.

125 / 7012. Champs Sports by 2000, this was vacant in the 1990s, possibly vacant since Woolworth passed on around 1993. (Eddie Bauer also takes up some former space).

126 / 7016. Flowerama from 1992 to 1998, this was a chain floral store. The 2001 directory puts this as Lady Foot Locker but as #127.

128 / 7020. Regis Hairstylist was here as of 1998 and still here through 2002 and would remain for close to a decade afterward.

129 / 7022. Claire's Boutique was here by the mid 1990s, possibly as early as 1985. Later they would switch with the location of Icing by Claire's (formerly Afterthoughts), but that's beyond the scope of this current page.

130 / 8000. By 1996, this was a large The Shoe Dept. store, which it would still be in 2001.

136 / 8008. Inspirations was here since 1992 and would continue past 2002.

137 / 8010. Sam Goody was here in 1997 and 2001. At some point in the mid-2000s, sister store Camelot Music was converted to fye, but the fate of this Sam Goody is unknown.

138 / 8012A. Going into the 1985 JCPenney wing, Ritz One-Hour Photo was here in 1997 through 2001, probably as late as 2005, but we'll explore that in a future version.

Because the old "number" system was added before the JCPenney wing, 8012B is neither labeled nor occupied as a number. This was probably to keep options open as this was where a seventh anchor would've been added (still a grassy blank area). It's unknown what the original plan was, whether to add Mervyn's, Montgomery Ward, or Foley's (before they took the main spot where a Joske's was planned to go), but it's a safe bet it was one of these three.

139 / 8018. Waldenbooks was originally closer to Sears and Dillard's (see 1982-1993 page) but it seems it moved here as early as 1985 because the directories that used numbers are contiguous, meaning it likely did not absorb smaller store spaces. In 1993 it added a "Waldenkids" combo as well, though this eventually just amounted to little more than just an additional facade. Either way, Waldenbooks was a large store and one of the best stores the mall had to offer, but it closed in summer 2007, probably among the first victims as the new corporate parent Borders began to struggle.

140 / 8020. By 2000, this was FX Video Game Exchange (also known as Special FX Video Game Exchange). It later moved to near Dillard's sometime in the mid-2000s, but it always sold used games and other stuff. Ultimately, the local store would move to Central Station citing rent reasons and but closed several years later. In 1997 this was Keyboards of Texas.

141 / 8022 . "The Curiosity Shop" was here from 1985 (moving from Culpepper Plaza—see FX Video Game Exchange above) to 2002 (original tenant!), moving to 4301 Texas Avenue in Bryan for a few years before it closed. The Curiosity Shop, from information we have, had gifts and apparel.

142 / 8024. Currently, no information can be found about this store space from the information we have.

143 / 8026. Post Oak Pets was here as the successor to Pet Emporium closer to Casa Olé and moved here in 1987. It closed sometime around 2002-2003.

144 / 8028. After a brief stay at suite 9014 as Candy Barrel (see below), Candies & More moved here in 2001 and would remain until around the early 2010s (more on that another time). The "& More" came in the form that Candies & More had convenience store products, if I recall it even had some tobacco products and lottery tickets...and even for a bulk candy shop, it looked grungier than the ones in other malls.

So now we come to JCPenney and wrap back around for the 9000-series suites...

145 / 9014. Currently, no information can be found about this store space from the information we have.

146 / 9016. Aggie Unlimited in both the 1997/2001 directories. 147 / 9020. Le Nails was here since 1995 but was still here in 2001. 148 / 9022. First National Bank of Bryan, yes, the mall had a bank branch inside of it with an exterior entrance. I don't know exactly when the bank branch closed, but it was before the merger with Franklin Bank (and subsequent failure/sale to Prosperity Bank). 149 / 9024. Luby's Cafeteria opened a restaurant here in September 1996, giving (briefly) a second location in addition to their Bryan location. Luby's in the mall kicked it in late 2000 just after about five years in College Station, leaving only the Bryan location once again to serve the community until its closure in 2014.

What predated Luby's was Wyatt's Cafeteria. This was a bit of a tough nut to nail down because some other sources and claims also said Bishop's Cafeteria, which was owned by competing cafeteria operator Furr's/Bishop's Cafeterias L.P., and besides, Bishop's was primarily operated in the Midwest. (Furr's/Bishop's was a spin-off of Kmart, which in the 1980s was starting to build an auxiliary operation of cafeteria restaurants).

In 1995, while in bankruptcy, Wyatt's Cafeteria (renamed on the corporate end as Triangle Foodservice Corp.) licensed the Bishop's Cafeteria name, which for its one and only unit was a rebranded and renovated Wyatt's Cafeteria...this one!

Luby's probably did minimal updates upon the closure of Bishop's, but even Luby's could not turn around the unit and it closed about four years later. This would leave a hole in the mall for years, sometimes using it for temporary space but otherwise unable to lease it as restaurant space.

150 / 9014. Candy Barrel was here from 1995 to 2000. In 2000, it changed hands and became Candies & More, which then moved closer to JCPenney. By 2001, this was "The Wireless Store".

151 / 9012. "The Pro's Choice" was a store here from 1995 to around summer 2001.

152 / 9010. MasterCuts was in this part of the mall at least since 1998 (likely even since 1985 when the wing opened) but closed in January 2020 due to something unrelated before most hair salons were ordered closed a few months later (with many never reopening).

153 / 9008 . In 2001, this was Timeless, a gift shop, in 1997 into 2000, it was Lam's Silk Garden.

154 / 9006. A store called "Botanica" was here in 1998 through 1999, it was owned by the same owner as Flowerama. Tax records seem to show that Botanica was the successor to Flowerama (Flowerama was franchised, Botanica was original), with the 1998 directory showing both stores but both with the same phone number despite being nowhere near each other. In early 2000, it became Vitamin World, a chain supplements store.

And thus...that's the story so far. Is it complete? Hardly! As of this writing, the 1982-1992 page needs a lot of fixing up, so that's actually going to be my next project.

The attached maps will show where the kiosks are (these do not have store numbers) they include (from both maps) Gold Post, Piercing Pagoda, Sunglass Hut, Jewel Time, Gold 'N Silver, Things Remembered, Shade Shack, Design Imports, Vogue Jewelry, Alley Artist, "Bags, Belts, & More" (parantheses as this was one kiosk), Embroidery World, Name & Photo, Longbow Rocks & Gems, Things Remembered, another Timeless (but as a kiosk!),, GTE Wireless, Houston Cellular (the predecessors to Verizon and AT&T wireless, respectively), Lone Star Communications, PrimeStar Communications, Tropik Sun Fruit & Nut (this was a chain of kiosks), and finally, Sno-Zone, a snow cone stand in front of Bealls. I personally remember Sno-Zone having a variety of flavors (everything from Tiger's Blood to Pickle) but I never actually got anything there.

In conclusion, between 1992 and 2002, the mall lost all but one restaurant and Service Merchandise became a second Dillard's. The next ten years would see even greater upheaval in terms of anchors and retail mix, and the fourth decade would see that turn difficult...but all in due time.

Also, if you like this page and want to see more about malls, check out the mall-related pages currently on!