Austin's / 16231 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
The Interstate numbering resets again at the Travis County line. Austin's (actually in Pflugerville), also known as Austin's Park N Pizza, contains a number of attractions including bowling and rock climbing, with outside attractions including bumper boats, mini-golf, and a go-kart track.
7-Eleven / 15829 N. I-35
At the southeast corner of Grand Avenue Parkway and I-35 is this truck stop 7-Eleven. It contains no access to Grand Avenue Parkway, instead connecting to Vision Drive in the back. For food options it contains Angelina's Tacos Caseros and formerly a Subway (gone between 2019 and 2021). My own personal hunch that it was not built as a 7-Eleven proved correct; as of January 2009 it was a Texaco with Speedy Stop and Subway (and probably had a taco counter in there as well). By 2013 it was 7-Eleven (Speedy Stop sold most of its stores to 7-Eleven that year), though the Texaco branding disappeared between spring 2015 and spring 2016.
Bombshells / 15119-C Interstate 35
Posados Cafe was here from 2004 to around 2011. It has been Bombshells Restaurant & Bar since 2014.
Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen / 15119 N. Interstate 35
Cheddar's Casual Cafe, as the chain was known until sometime around the mid-to-late 2010s, opened here in November 2003.
FD's Grill House / 15119-B N. Interstate 35
Formerly known as Fish Daddy's Grill House (a concept by Cheddar's before it was bought by Darden) when it opened in mid-2004, this restaurant became FD's in 2015 (an unflattering review came with it).
The Shops at Tech Ridge / 12901 N. I-35
You can see a site plan (as of 2/22) of this shopping center here. The Floor & Decor and Texas Furniture Mall stores make up the space of a SuperTarget, which operated from October 2003 to January 2016, the only SuperTarget to close in Texas. (The above site plan is archived from here)
AMC Dine-In Tech Ridge 10 / 12625 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Occupying only a portion of the previous tenant, AMC opened a smaller movie theater here in December 2019 (before spending a good portion of the next year closed or under capacity). The "previous tenant" here was a Sears Grand, opened in fall 2005 and closed in April 2018. The Sears Grand was part of a concept from the pre-Kmart era Sears to create a hybrid of their department stores (complete with everything they had, like an auto center, portrait studio, etc., as well as Budget/Avis car rentals) with a more traditional discount store style layout with additional departments (garden center, pet supplies, non-perishables, and an HBA section), topping out at 164,000 square feet. While the Sears Grand downscaled the number of departments dramatically in the last five years or so of its life, the Sears outlasted the Super Target about half a mile to the north, with the remaining two Sears in the Austin area closing later that year.
JCPenney / 12351 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
The Sears Grand is just a memory now, but this JCPenney store (98,000 square feet) is still open. It opened in late 2006, moving from Highland Mall, where it had been since 1971.
The Hedge / 8300 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Now we're getting to the part which was teased back when I wrote about a 2017 trip. The Hedge Apartments looks a bit like an old motel, which of course, it actually is. The website is here, showing floorplans which tend to be a bit cramped (and the bathrooms in the back, probably a carry-over). I believe I did stay at this motel, which was a Travelodge way back when (sometime in the late 1990s), but by 2019 it had long dropped it, known as "Austin Suites Hotel", despite still being a motel. It looks like it may have changed names in 2005.
Academy Sports + Outdoors / 7513 N. IH 35
This Academy was built on the long-time home of a truck stop (one of Austin's first) which later closed for a transmission shop. (More on this, the Austin Truck Terminal, can be seen here, where it also talks about Burba's, the restaurant there, and some other stuff). The Academy here opened in June 2002 with the same address as the truck stop it replaced.
Tricolor Auto / 7417 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
This small used car dealership was Capitol Kia Preowned from 2006 to early 2010s. Until around 2003, it was a go-kart track, originally Malibu Grand Prix when it first opened in the late 1970s, then Funwerks in its final years.
In 2005, you can see cars parked around the former go-kart track (used as an impromptu parking lot) and in 2008 most of the go-kart track was removed for construction of a Restaurant Depot. Portions of the former track can be seen between Restaurant Depot and Tricolor Auto.
7211 N. Interstate Highway 35
This Home Depot store opened in 1995 but moved to 1200 Barbara Jordan Boulevard in 2008. The roof is deteriorating; you can see it from recent aerials.
Burlington / 6600 Middle Fiskville Road
Part of the retail surrounding the now-defunct Highland Mall, Burlington (Burlington Coat Factory, formerly, but still had/has the name as of 2019) has been here since 1995. From 1988 to 1994 it was Wal-Mart #1185, but was numbered as 6700 Middle Fiskville.
Pappasito's Cantina / 6513 N. Interstate 35
The Pappasito's/Pappadeaux tag-team makes another appearance, this time in Austin. Pappasito's #9 opened in July 1992 with the original address of 6601 N. Interstate 35.
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen / 6319 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen #3 opened in July 1989.
McDonald's / 5355 Interregional Highway
The first McDonald's in Texas a failure in Dallas in the 1950s (closed soon after) but this one was one of the first successful locations, opening around 1969 (or possibly earlier, hence the outdated road name). It has been rebuilt at least twice over the years, however.
Fiesta Mart / 3909 North I- 35
Fiesta Mart opened in December 1992 here, and would be the only Fiesta Mart in Austin for over a decade until a new store opened in 2007. Even after that, it would be one of two Fiesta Mart stores.
Denny's / 1601 IH-35 North
The chrome "Denny's Classic Diner" here opened in December 2000, between a cemetery and the UT-Austin campus. It appears originally there was something special about these types of Denny's restaurants; however, that has been long gone for at least a decade now.
The Avenir / 1109 Interstate 35 North
This tall apartment building replaced a long-closed Safeway (#266, with the 1109 Interregional Hwy. address). It was a Marina Safeway and closed in 1987, the same year the Dallas division was shut down and several Houston stores were slashed. It never became an AppleTree.
Interestingly, the apartment building that replaced it the building was torn down in 2019, the Avenir, was supposed to have a 60,000 square feet grocery store on the lower level before it was canned due to neighborhood resistance. H-E-B doesn't have new stores of that size, typically...perhaps Randalls was poised to re-emerge at the site of an old Safeway!
Alas, in the end, it was cut, and the tower became just a bit shorter with no new Randalls (or possible H-E-B) in sight.
The Home Depot / 3600 S I-35
This Home Depot was opened in July 2001 and notably, this features forest green awnings rather than the orange ones Home Depot is known for.
Skylite Inn / 4220 S. I-35
A former Days Inn (Days Inn Austin South; Skylite reuses the sign). This must have happened VERY recently, as of February 2022 Google still seems to report Days Inn being here. Taxpayer records indicate it changed hands last year.
South Austin Nissan Pre-Owned / 4222 S. I-35
The pre-owned car section of South Austin Nissan. It used to be Furr's Family Dining (formerly Furr's Cafeteria, which later converted to buffet style). The distinctive red circular signage is unused these days. The restaurant operated from around 1987 to 2011.
5015 S. I-35
From 1990 to 2005, this was a Wal-Mart, which was, due to topography and trees, impossible to see from the road. It moved to 9300 S I-35 after that. Today it's been renovated into an office building, where the IRS (among others) takes up space here.
5107 S. I-35
This was a Sam's Club from 1988 to October 2011, and like Wal-Mart, it too moved from its invisible position to 9900 Interstate 35 South. Today, it's owned by KIPP-Austin Public Schools, a charter school, and holds both KIPP Austin Brave High School and KIPP Austin Obras Elementary School (no middle school).
Fiesta Mart / 5510 South Interstate 35
This Fiesta Mart is unusual for a few reasons. It's one of the two Fiesta stores in Austin, it's got a gas station and convenience store on the corner, and (related to the previous fact), was a former Albertsons (#4093) which operated from March 2000 to July 2006. In 2007, Albertsons would leave the Austin market, selling its remaining stores to H-E-B, which reopened some but closed others. Fiesta Mart #64 would open in February 2007 at this location. There are a few stores adjacent to the Albertsons/Fiesta Mart built around the same time.
The gas station looked much closer to Albertsons Express (canopy with rounded corners, "Snacks" and "Beverages" still on the store but sometime around 2021 this was renovated out, and evidence also indicates the store interior was updated later after opening.
Texas Land & Cattle / 5510-C S. I-35
The very LAST Texas Land & Cattle restaurant remaining. It opened in 2001 (after Albertsons opened). As of 2002, there two dozen locations (usually in Texas metropolitan areas, but also locations in Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado). I ate at the Lubbock restaurant in December 2002. A distant memory.
Burlington / 6715 Interstate 35 S.
Burlington Coat Factory (#434) moved into this former Kmart in summer 2003. The chain has been known as Burlington since the late 2010s, with this store receiving a new name at some point after that. It was a Kmart (labeled as Big Kmart from the late 1990s on) from November 1981 to July 2002.
Golden Corral / 7300 S. I-35
This Golden Corral buffet restaurant (#988) opened in late 2016. Coincidentally, it sits at a street named "Corral Lane".
H-E-B / 8801 S. Congress Avenue
This H-E-B (about 130k square feet) opened in summer 2020 with an enormous Curbside department (something that exceeded H-E-B's expectations, no doubt, as it was all designed before...well, 2020) and True Texas BBQ, an in-house barbecue restaurant with its own drive-through.
The H-E-B has a Congress address, but it's built on the old right of way, demolished in the late 1980s or early 1990s when Slaughter was extended and the whole interchange (S. Congress once directly connected to the highway frontage roads, with an underpass) was reconfigured.
8801 S. I-35
A shopping center where several buildings have the same address, this features a Home Depot (opened September 2003), a Circle K (opened as a Shell-branded "Signature" or "Signature Austin" in January 2004; became a Circle K between 2011 and 2013, and between February 2021 and February 2022 the Shell branding was dropped and became a Circle K in its entirety), an IHOP restuarant, and Don Dario's Cantina.
Valero / 2107 Boca Raton Drive
This Valero with a generic "Food Mart" was a Shell and converted between 2009 and 2011. From 1979 to around 2000 it was a Stop-N-Go convenience store, based out of Houston.
South of here is the "other" Highway 45 that still goes around in a loop to the other side. After this, we leave Travis County to enter Hays County.
Check the next page, I-35 in Hays County, here.