Saturday, January 18, 2020

Kettle College Station

Kettle has since disappeared from the Houston restaurant landscape, but it lives on in College Station. (Photo from August 2016 by author, modified to better show colors)

Over the years, there has been many, many places I've seen that Houston had and College Station-Bryan didn't. If there was any sort of chain in the College Station/Bryan area, then there was one in Houston too. There were exceptions of course, Albertsons had survived nearly a decade after the company pulled out of Houston, and AppleTree did the same. While College Station's Winn-Dixie only lasted sometime around the mid-1990s, Houston didn't even have any Winn-Dixie stores.

This also extends to restaurants. Last year, it was mentioned that Fazoli's no longer has any Houston locations, a result of closings trickling over the last ten years or so. And speaking of ten years, the next stop in the new Texas Avenue is from what I could tell hasn't seen Houston since around 2011, introducing the Kettle, which is the next "stop" on this series. (As this blog is about a decade old, many of the notable places between our last post, O'Reilly Auto Parts, have been covered before, including Exxon, Walmart, Altitude Trampoline Park, BB&T, the former Kmart, Fort Shiloh, and Days Inn).

Kettle #138 at 2502 Texas Avenue South has been around since 1981, built before the Manor House Motor Inn if the dates are right. It's part of a chain that no longer was once based out of Houston where most of its stores were located and had locations out to Florida.

Today, Kettle can be considered what what fellow blogger Zap Actionsdower considers a "broken chain". I've informed the blog about the Kettle, but he's in a different part of the country to check out the humble Kettle restaurant in College Station. There's another Kettle restaurant in Bryan that's a former Denny's, and there were even more in town, up to five in town, including at the site of Northpoint Crossing. There aren't even five Kettle restaurants in the chain anymore.

It's open 24 hours, despite the fairly quiet part of town where it is located. My guess is that the police station's 24/7 operation also keeps the Kettle in business, too, despite mixed reviews otherwise. (After all, for those working the graveyard shift, where else in the area can you get a decent meal at three in the morning?)

UPDATE 09-15-2021: Kettle is no longer "Always Open" since March 2020 (sad since the last paragraph no longer applies, but do I need to explain why?) and the "Always Open" part of the sign no longer lights up, though they are open until 11pm most days. Someone on Google added an old picture from the early/mid-2000s (not from January 2018) and it shows Kettle as I remember it growing up, with a cook posing inside the "K". A few new tags have been added as well.
UPDATE 01-13-2023: Unfortunately, Kettle never did reopen its 24 hour service (the Bryan one painted over its 24 hour service) and in late 2022 it was announced it would close for good after November 2022. Based on filings, the restaurant will be demolished for College Station's first Salad and Go.
UPDATE 05-26-2023: It was reported by TexAgs that as of late May (heading into Memorial Day weekend) that the former Kettle is being demolished. ([defunct] added).
UPDATE 10-16-2023: Salad and Go is now open. [defunct] is replaced with [2020s].