Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Luther's Bar-B-Q

The sky really wasn't that overcast, I had to make some changes to make the actual subject lighter. Picture by author, May 2019.

The current BCS Tires & Lifts looks quite a bit different than its incarnation as a restaurant. While it didn't last long in its original incarnation, it was the home of Luther's Bar-B-Q, a chain out of Houston which at the time of its construction in late 1984 (may have actually opened in 1985) was operated by a company named Diversifoods, which owned a number of Burger King franchises and a few other chains. In 1985, Diversifoods accepted a buyout from Burger King's parent company Pillsbury (effectively ending a feud that Diversifoods and its predecessor company Chart House had with Burger King franchises) but it had the unfortunate side effect of halting Luther's expansion and closing a number of stores soon after. The Luther's in College Station may have actually been only in business for as little as a year.

In any case, Pop's Barbecue was the successor tenant here, serving a similar menu, though the different phone number suggests an entirely new restaurant and not just a disconnection from Luther's. Pop's had a more successful run until around 1995-1997 when it closed and became the new location of Epicures Catering. Pictures of when Epicures was here can be seen on Yelp since I lack pictures of my own. Epicures existed prior to moving here but located somewhere else (unfortunately, the phone books don't list the address of where it was) and over time, Epicures lost its luster (it used to be a big advertiser in local dining guides) and fell into disrepair until moving out to rural Brazos County. The original green overhang was replaced with a gold-colored one in the mid-2000s after the old one was too tattered.

After Epicures stopped operating in the spot, the building was extensively renovated and expanded to become a franchise of Conroe-based TireMax, opening in 2011. However, not too long after TireMax opened, the parent company went bust and it had to change its name to "BCS Tires & Lifts", so the sign didn't look quite as good after that.

One more important piece of information, as Luther's address was 2321 Texas Avenue South, and subsequent businesses used 2319, while Discount Tire (built in 1986) used the 2321 address. This made research of the building's original use confusing.

UPDATE 04-17-2022: While this post last received an update in 2020, another change is that BCS Tires & Lifts (also known as "BCS Tire Pros") had either been bought out or otherwise replaced in early 2022 by Big O Tires.