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 not unnoticed by the former "Sevcik's Texaco" across the street.

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Antonio's Pizza by the Slice

Picture from summer 2013.

In the most recent update of this post (November 10th, 2021) we have learned that the subject of the post (split off from this page), Antonio's Pizza by the Slice, closed in very early November 2021 after a run of just short of 18 years, originally opening around November 2003.

Interestingly, Antonio's was actually a branch of an East Coast pizza chain with no locations in New York, but in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and, until very recently, College Station, Texas.

Back when Antonio's opened, 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 (the closure happened in summer 2012) 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.

While the building is estimated to date back to 1930, records are spotty. It was Court's University Shoe Repair from until 1979 to the end of 1984. Lacey's (jewelry store) occupied half of the storefront from late 1994 to early 1996, and split the space with Perfect Tan III. Perfect Tan seems to have given way to Software Exchange, which was here from fall 1994 to the end of 1995 and became Byte Me Computers from January 1996 to April 1997, Cycles Etc. from July 1998 to summer 2003 (Cycles Etc. appeared to have occupied the full 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 and at 607 University Drive East.

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. Due to varying experiences with the food over the years, I can't really say anything particularly good or bad about it.

UPDATE 11-09-2021: Rewrote entry with better overview of former tenants, and of course, covering the closure of the restaurant ([defunct] label added).
UPDATE 04-02-2022: Added date back to the pedestrian mall as part of reworking original "104-115 College Main" page.

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 1982 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 (since demolished and replaced with a Raising Cane's), except with a more brown-ish colored roof.

UPDATE 03-12-2022: A few fixes. Tax data says it opened in 1982, but BCAD says 1984. I'll change it to 1982 as that tends to be a bit more reliable.

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?
 
 
For years, 701 University 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 an 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. By November 2019, it did reopen as a coffee shop, Carport Coffee, or "Carport: A Coffee Shop".

UPDATE 12-31-2020: Removed "Editor's Note" at the start as part of routine cleaning.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Ol' J.W.'s Country Store (East 29th Street)

More accurately, Ol' J.W. don't mess with Superman's lawyers.

This one was a bit harder to track down the history of, since the gas station did not seem to have a phone number and thus the phone directories were useless. It opened in November 1983 with a Philips 66 gas station (as per the Eagle ad above) and eventually became a Diamond Shamrock (along with the Highway 6/Boonville store mentioned), then a Valero (with "Corner Store", as Valero had rebranded all convenience stores to be), then Circle K (but still with Valero). The Hwy. 21/19th Street location later became a Fina and now serves as a small restaurant. As of this writing, the East 29th gas station today still shows as a Corner Store on Google Maps.

Monday, September 2, 2019

Church's Chicken, College Station

The text is old but the picture is from August 2019.

Originally discussed in one of my oldest posts, this Church's Chicken at 2800 Texas Avenue South opened circa 2005, replacing a Wienerschnitzel, which opened in the early 1990s (1993 according to Brazos CAD). The buildings were almost identical, except Wienerschnitzel had red trim instead of blue (also, don't have a picture). I don't know when Wienerschnitzel closed: I want to say 2002. In any case, the older Bryan location still is open.

UPDATE 10-29-21: In or around October 2021, Church's Chicken at College Station has closed (a [defunct] label has been added to the post). Also, Church's opened in 2003, not 2005. This mistake stemmed from the fact that it opened around the same time the latest "Harry Potter" book was released (and thus, I was in the car when my sister went in to buy a copy), but it was the fifth book and not the sixth.