Carbon-izer Presents Interstate 35 in Williamson County


Welcome to the Austin area! This covers places like Round Rock and Georgetown. Version 4.0 makes minor improvements to the page as a whole, and adds JCPenney, 2800 N. Interstate 35 (former Golden Corral), Tumble 22, Verizon, La Margarita Restaurante, Kris Auto Sales, Bee Safe Storage & Wine Cellar, Motel 6 (including a demolished site), Starbucks, Academy Sports + Outdoors, 2400 S. Interstate 35 (former Wal-Mart...and something else interesting), and Walmart (the modern Walmart, which it moved to in 1995). It updates Meridian School and McDonald's (Round Rock Avenue). The latter was updated because of new information related to the whole Tom Thumb/Randalls/Albertsons shuffle, but the former was updated because Meridian School wasn't actually the home of Power Computing Corporation as previously reported. They did have offices there, and the entry was updated for some of its early history, but the headquarters of PCC, when they were in Round Rock, were at the former Wal-Mart, which has been added.


Continuing from Bell County, this part of the road covers Jarrell (fast-growing) and the northern terminus of TX-130. Where Texas 130 intersects was "Live Oaks at Berry Creek RV Park" (not to be confused with Berry Springs RV Park off of Market Street), despite half of the park vanishing with 130's construction, it was abandoned by the late 2010s.

Berry Creek Truck Stop / 3800 N. Interstate 35
This smaller, older truck stop used to be branded as a Mobil until around 2009. It appears to have no other branded gasoline or food options.

Plaka Greek Cafe / 115 I-35
This Greek restaurant started out as Del Taco (1985-1987), Taco Bueno (1992-2001), and has been this restaurant since 2008. It may have had other tenants over the years, but that's what can currently be found right now.


McDonald's / 806 N. Austin Avenue
This McDonald's has a highway-side sign despite being set off from the freeway and opened in 1978 originally (exterior and interior renovations since). It also had the address of 810 N. Austin Avenue at one time.

610 N. Austin Avenue
This building has a few tenants inside of it, notably House of Gainz Gym, DoubleDave's Pizzaworks (since 2016), Golf Ranch, and Mattress One. It was an Albertsons supermarket (#4061) from March 1997 to July 2006, when it was shut down as part of part of the first wave of closures from the newly-reorganized Albertsons LLC.

900 S. IH 35
This was a Wal-Mart from 1989 to 2003, most of it is occupied by Hobby Lobby (Ste. 101) but a tenant on the right side of the building, "Salons of the Town", is located at suite 102. The new "Wal-Mart Supercenter" was built a bit north of this store as its direct replacement. (Walmart keeps store numbers).

H-E-B / 1100 S. I-35
This H-E-B supermarket (#237) is about 63,000 square feet and has been here since 1989. A replacement is planned for the northwest corner of the intersection.


Shell / 958 W. University Avenue
In 2015, this Shell gained the Corner Store branding from a generic Shell branded food mart. Seeing a Corner Store that wasn't a Valero was unusual upon stopping here in 2016, but by that time, Corner Store was independent and had already entered into a merger agreement with Alimentation Couche-Tard. By late 2018, with the marriage consummated, it was branded as a Circle K (the convenience store portion, the gas station is still Shell).

Speedy Stop / 1006 Leander Road
Modern Speedy Stop gas station. It became self-branded when it reopened in 2022 with a car wash and expanded store (plus larger canopy) after demolition in 2021, previously the gas brand was an Exxon.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World / 200 Bass Pro Drive
Bass Pro Shops is part of the mega-popular FM 1431 / University Boulevard shopping area, with an IKEA, a huge outlet mall, and a lot more. The 120,000 square foot store opened in June 2015, and includes the restaurant/bowling alley "Uncle Buck's Fish Bowl & Grill". Here's a bit on the opening of the store.

IKEA / 1 Ikea Way
I visited this IKEA (IKEA Round Rock) not too long after it opened, maybe within a year, and I have the directory stashed someplace as well. I don't know where exactly "Ikea Way" is (the parking lot?) but I visited it when it was in the pre-expanded version, at "only" 252,000 square feet when it opened in November 2006. In 2011-2012 construction on the west side of the building brought it up to 306,000 square feet.

JCPenney / 151 University Oaks Blvd.
JCPenney, unlike the rest of University Oaks Shopping Center is a stand-alone building and opened in September 2007. It does not appear to have replaced another store.

Salt Traders Coastal Cooking / 2850 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Originally one of Texas' three Kona Ranch Steakhouse restaurants, operating from mid-1998 to December 2002, this was Mesa Rosa from 2006 to closure in the mid-2010s, at which point (since 2016) has been Salt Traders.

2800 N. Interstate 35
Home of a failed Golden Corral that operated from 1998 to 2001 and later home to a series of Chinese buffets (China One, and later Summer Palace), this space is divided between Hopdoddy Burger Bar (which uses the address of 2600 Hoppe Trail) and Cover 3 (a bar/restaurant in suite 200 and uses two-thirds of the space). Hopdoddy and Cover 3 opened in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

Meridian School / 2555 N. Interstate 35
Since around 2012, this has been the home of charter school Meridian School, which also occupies most of 2560 North Mays Street behind it. In previous versions of this page, this was erroneously reported to be the home of the late Power Computing Corporation, while it just had auxiliary offices there (theri main offices were closer to the county line). The building had started out around 1979 as a manufacturing plant for Hughes Tool Company but closed in 1985 and sold in 1989 (by this time, Hughes Tool Co. had been purchased by its rival Baker International, later known as Baker Hughes following the merger); after that, the building got a second level and Texas Nuclear Corp. (previously located in Austin proper) moved in.

Whiskey Cake Kitchen & Bar / 2600 N. Interstate Highway 35
This chain restaurant opened here in September 2022. From May 1998 to June 2015, this was Johnny Carino's (briefly Carino's Italian, as the chain was known for a time), followed by Mellow Mushroom, which operated here from October 2015 to October 2019.

Rudy's Country Store & Bar-B-Q / 2400 N. Interstate Highway 35
This restaurant has a Shell station attached as the "gas station" component of Rudy's (which they do not all have, my local store back in College Station did not). In addition to the branded gas station component, which usually is self-branded (if they have it at all), it actually was built as an ordinary gas station and renovated/expanded into Rudy's in 1999. The gas station appears to have been known as "Hoppe's" from 1993 to 1999. While the original gas brand is unknown, it was probably a Shell.

McDonald's / 2401 N. Interstate 35
The McDonald's at Old Settlers Road opened in 1997 with an indoor Playplace, and was renovated in the early 2010s.


Tumble 22 / 2111 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
This restaurant used to be a Fuddruckers and it appears to have been permanently shuttered during COVID-19. The current restaurant here, Tumble 22 opened March 1, 2021. Fuddruckers had opened in 2003 and during their time changed their address from 1991 to 2111. Prior to Fuddruckers, a restaurant called "Lone Star Cafe" operated here in the late 1980s, 1990s, and up until the early 2000s.

Sirloin Stockade / 1723 I-35
Sirloin Stockade is very much a dying chain, even as of 2016, 100 locations were in existence, as of 2022, only 9 locations exist (including this one). This location has been open since 1993.

Verizon / 1719 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
This used to be an Arby's (operational from 1995 to around 2014-2015) and was briefly another restaurant ("The Saucy Rooster") before it closed down as well. By 2018 it had become a Verizon store.

La Margarita Restaurante / 1530 N. Interstate 35
La Margarita moved here around 2001 from its previous space just north of Motel 6 (discussed below).

Torchy's Tacos / 1500 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
This opened as Westside Alehouse in March 2012 in a new building, owned by the same people who opened La Margarita just to the north it. Sometime around mid-2016 it closed, and was replaced by PS 35, a pizza restaurant (with a cassette tape-shaped sign) in early 2017, which lasted less than a year before closing. Torchy's Tacos opened in early 2019.

Kris Auto Sales / 1406 North I-35
Round Rock, TX 78681 512-443-3355 This building, currently hosting Kris Auto Sales is a good deal older than the newer restaurants to the north and hosted Harbison Auto Sales in the 2000s, with a brief stay by Morgan Buildings & Spas in the early 2010s.

Bee Safe Storage & Wine Cellar / 1405 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Across from Kris Auto Sales on the other side of the freeway, this self-storage unit (apparently part of CubeSmart) opened around November 2020.

Motel 6 / 1400 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
This motel (originally built in 1977) has gone under a number of names, including Round Rock Inn (c. 2007, possibly former Super 8), Americas Best Value Inn (c. 2011), with Motel 6 (Motel 6 Round Rock) since the mid-2010s. Indications it was "Traveler's Inn" originally.

The demolished slab to the north, 1402 N. Interstate Highway 35, held a number of restaurants over the years, including Laredo Grill & Cantina (1993-1994), La Margarita (1994-2001), Juarez Mexican & Seafood Grill (2002-2003), and Waterloo Ice House (2003-2006).

Starbucks / 1010 N. I-35
This Starbucks opened in December 2006. It lacks seating inside, with only a drive-through window and a walk-up window.

It replaced a gas station, which was Exxon in the 1990s but did swap brands before closing.

McDonald's / 310 N. Interstate Hwy. 35
Another highwayside McDonald's shouldn't be that big of an issue, after all, there's another just up at E. Old Settlers Blvd., but this McDonald's can be seen (before the mid-2000s rebuild) here at Vintage Aerials. The strip mall behind it was built later. The place where Sprouts/Office Depot/Tuesday Morning was previously an Albertsons (1997-2006) and Randalls (1993-1997) before that. It was sold to Albertsons with two other stores (Pasadena and College Station, with Pasadena closing before this one and College Station closing after this one), and was built as a Tom Thumb in 1988. Cullum Cos. closed the store in 1989 during its sale of several stores in the area to Albertsons (a fairly new, existing Albertsons was not too far away), but in 1993 it reopened as a Randalls (maybe Cullum held onto the lease). In 1997, Randalls sold the store to Albertsons which closed their 1986 store to focus on this one.

Academy Sports + Outdoors / 1351 N. Interstate 35
This stand-alone Academy sporting goods store opened in December 2002, featuring 67,000 square feet of space.

2400 S. Interstate 35
Operating as a Wal-Mart (#475) from 1982 to 1995 and today a strip center featuring Gold's Gym, 52 Eatery & Bar, Gomez Boot Ranch, and others, was the main home of Power Computing Corporation before it closed. Power Computing Corporation was one of the best-known and most popular Macintosh "clone" manufacturers during the 1990s. It relocated here sometime after 1995 (a manual for another computer lists the company with a Cupertino, California address) but in 1997, Apple Computer Inc., under new interim CEO Steve Jobs, purchased most of the company's assets to end the clone program and move all manufactured computers in-house. By the end of January 1998 the company was dead, with Apple purchasing the rest of the company and auctioning off everything else. (One article refers to the building also hosting the "PowerMart" when the last of the company was liquidated, indicating it ran a small computer store as part of the headquarters).

My family had a PowerWave (similar to the PowerCenter Pro, which you can see a manual linked with the address), in the late 1990s and early 2000s. It was a powerful computer for its time but it had all sorts of issues and eventually the hard drive (or some other critical component, I can't quite remember) failed.

Hooters / 2700 S. IH-35
Hooters has been here since 1999. It was Hardee's from 1986 to around late 1996, and one of seemingly the last Hardee's in Texas (before their merger with Carl's Jr.).

Walmart / 2701 South I-35
Originally opened as "Wal-Mart Supercenter", this Walmart (still a Supercenter) has the store number of 475 (replacing a smaller store just to the north of it) and opened in the spring of 1995. As of January 2022 it had a Subway inside, but was probably the home of a McDonald's when it opened.

Crossing Point / 2800 S. IH-35
This shopping center (anchored by Altitude Trampoline Park, a gym, and several restaurants) was built at the site of Garden Ridge (#6), which was here from 1994 to 2014 (and did not rebrand to At Home). Like some of Houston's first Garden Ridge stores, this one was also an outlet mall originally.

It is believed that the commercial I uploaded to YouTube from not long after the store opened was of this store, and also appeared to be the first store branded as Garden Ridge (as opposed to Garden Ridge Pottery). The Yelp page for the store can be seen here and features not only photos but also the two (smaller) At Home locations that would replace the sprawling 100,000 square feet store.

This concludes our trip through Williamson County's portion of Interstate 35. The adventure continues on here.

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