Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Amico Nave Ristorante

This one and the other photos were taken by author, February '24.

I had to pull the details of this one from my FM 1179 page, but this one came up for a post as the restaurant announced closing with the last day being February 24, 2024. So, with that in mind, we'll take another look at it.

Amico Nave Ristorante at 203 East Villa Maria Road was built in the late 1970s as a restaurant called "Pizza Planet" (many years before Toy Story, of course) and this lasted from 1979 to 1984. Because of spotty records, it later served (briefly) as Kelly-Moore Paint Company (according to taxpayer records) and a restaurant called Buffalo Joe's as late as 1994, but has been a beauty salon from 1996 to the very early 2010s (Shapers Hair Productions, though might've gone under a different name in the late 1990s). In spring 2013, it reopened as Amico Nave from the same owners (Wade and Mary Beckman) of Shipwreck Grill across the street. In its early years Amico Nave did very well: in summer 2013, when restaurants usually have slow business, the parking lot was packed out nightly. But I suppose all things have to come to an end. Enjoy the photos and check out the post for Shipwreck Grill.
Uh-oh, hours changed! Who could have seen this coming?
While the concrete base is old, this is one of the few new light fixtures for Amico Nave.
The building is visibly older.
Currently, plans are in the works to renovate the building to look more like a ship and move Shipwreck Grill into the space.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

The Sandstone Center

Initially this was out in the sticks, now it's just north of the Costco. (Ad from 1989 phone book)
This site rarely covers churches, and when it happens it's usually an extenuating circumstance, like it wasn't always a church. This is one such instance. Sandstone Psychiatry (at 4201 Highway 6 South, though the ad says differently) opened in the mid-to-late 1980s with inpatient and outpatient care. It was a hospital/long-term care in some form and even featured a swimming pool. In the early 1990s, The Sandstone Center changed hands to become the Desert Hills Center (a similar facility), but at some point in the 1990s closed. In the late 1990s, the space in front of the former clinic was purchased by Christ United Methodist Church and a new facility was built (likely around 1999, the old address according to a 1998 phone book revealed that the church body existed but had no permanent space, listed as 4719 Shoal Creek Drive). By 2004, a second building was built as the main building while the old Sandstone building was used as auxiliary classroom space. In 2008, a third building was built between them, while integrating the parking lots better and adding another entrance off of Highway 6. The three buildings were connected with covered walkways. This would remain the configuration for the next decade. By the late 2010s, new roads were developed around the church. The main south entrance was removed for the construction of a segment of Pebble Creek Parkway, which was (presumably) to extend to the main road off of Highway 40. A few spaces in the back were removed for access to the Lakeway Drive extension. A driveway built on the north side of the property was developed as Carroll Fancher Way. Within a year of the expansion, the orphaned segment of Pebble Creek Parkway was renamed as Corporate Parkway, and Lakeway Drive's extension (including the segment of Lakeway that had opened in 2010) as Midtown Drive.
The old drive-up of Sandstone/the church following the 2020s renovation.

Around 2021-2022, the "Sandstone" building was completely renovated, removing the pool and expanding the building to integrate with the 2008 building, as well as removing the concrete beneath the concrete drive-up. All during this time, it was renamed as Christ Church (disconnect from the Methodist church over theology). The circa '99 building does not connect to the main combined building and still retains its covered walkways.
(Former?) Desert Hills, 1995
Two buildings as of 2004.
Three buildings as of 2011.
Two buildings as of 2022.

Thursday, February 1, 2024

Truck Stop Cafe

The drawing of the crazed cook (it's all in the eyes) seems to be stock art, notice the copyright symbol.
Around four years ago I embarked on an ambitious plan to do a series on Texas Avenue with a bunch of all-new content. I put the kibosh on that fairly early (nothing to do with COVID, just some poor choices of what I actually had. As far as COVID went, it was a productive year otherwise, over 40 entries were added, and while many were on Texas Avenue these were coincidental (it is very popular, you could spend at least an hour reading all 70+ posts—do it!).

Anyway, Truck Stop Cafe! This long-forgotten restaurant operated officially from 1970 (phone book scan from c. 1970) to 1973 as a 24/7 restaurant and what appears to be the first tenant in the spot of 2609 North Texas Avenue, and according to records, the building hasn't seen use as a restaurant (or commercial establishment, for that matter) since. However, a one-off crime report indicates Truck Stop Cafe was still open in 1976, and a phone book shows the restaurant was active since at least 1963.

Since then, although the building hasn't been used as a restaurant in years and has been modified since, the current tenant is Royal Priesthood Christian Fellowship, which it has been since at least the early 2010s.

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

IHOP on Northgate

The IHOP at College Avenue and University Drive kept up with recent logos in its nearly fifty years of operation but has come to an end.

The IHOP at College Main and University (104 College Avenue) has now closed, closing at the end of December 2023, as reported by KBTX who most likely looked at the old University Square post (as it appeared as of this writing, same as the past few years).

First opened in 1974, the IHOP (International House of Pancakes back in the day) has mostly operated 24 hours a day for many decades, and I'm not sure why exactly it closed...KBTX parrots the 2019 stuff I previously posted but can't do any reporting on their own. Regardless, I personally only went there once around 1999 and all I can say is even if IHOP wasn't the greatest restaurant around (it wasn't), it's a shame to lose yet another 24 hour restaurant. You know...Kettle closed a few years ago, Taco Cabana closed as did follow-up tenant Las's a shame that we can't have nice things anymore or get a sit-down meal at 3 am in the morning. (Hey, I worked night shift.)
The two other stores were opened in more recent years.

Workers were on site dismantling the restaurant.

All pictures were taken by the author, January 2024.