Thursday, August 19, 2021

Former Applebee's

Applebee's is gone, but is it truly missed?

For our next few posts, we'll be covering more of the "North of University Drive but south of Bryan" businesses that used to be combined into one post but was cut out in recent years (well, some of them at least). What remained of that post was reassembled as the Econo Lodge post.

Late-night eats weren't that uncommon in the world that was.

As mentioned in the post title, today's post is on the old Applebee's at 200 Texas Avenue South. Applebee's is a chain and needs no further introduction and opened a College Station location in 1994. Applebee's still had the older logo a few years before its closure, and the parking lot connection to Home2 Suites (opened in 2015) gave Applebee's back access to the street formerly known as Meadowland, but I've never actually eaten there, so I have no words to say to about it. Like with the local Fuddruckers (previously covered on this blog), Applebee's was closed with numerous other Applebee's restaurants owned by the franchise during COVID-19, but this one never reopened. It's worth noting that despite some poor reviews of this location (even for Applebee's standards), it was always a bit isolated from the other restaurant clusters.

Hmm, looks like problems were brewing even before March 2020. (The paper on the door is a notice from the city regarding lawnmowing).

Applebee's was built itself on 200 Texas Avenue South, which was the site of Western Motel was there at 204 Texas Avenue. Western Motel was one of the area's earliest motels, built in the mid-1950s and demolished in the early 1990s (likely shutting in the 1980s). One advertisement I could find from a 1980 phone book indicated it was very low end, mentioning only air conditioning, color televisions, AM/FM radios, and of course, weekly rates. Slightly nicer motels of the same time frame were able to offer swimming pools, in-room phones, cable TV, or even a small restaurant/coffee shop (though the motel did have one in its early days in the 1950s and 1960s). Applebee's didn't build on all of the lot, however, and the remaining frontage will be discussed when we get around to Home2 Suites (unfortunately, not in the next few posts!).

Table for none?

All photos in this post were taken by the author, August 2021.