Because of the way the Highway 21 jogs west, then south, then west again, this page will have several sections to bridge the gap between Highway 71 and going toward Caldwell. Version 3.0 moves six entries from that page (L&S Mart, Jack in the Box at 1641 Highway 71 East, CVS/pharmacy, Buc-ee's, QuikTrip, and Exxon (Loop 150). New additions: 2704 Highway 21 East (Hilltop Grocery), Seventh Day Adventist Church, The Pines at Bastrop, 1800 Walnut Street, Tex Butane Co., and El Corral Lozano. Updated entries include 146 Highway 21 East and Willow Springs Recovery.
Film Alley / 1600 Chestnut Street
The opening of Chestnut Square back in 2003 on the edge of town was surprising at the time, but today, the cinema, known as Film Alley, is Bastrop's only full-line movie theater. The above link has a picture I took back in 2019 with additional information, but you can also see BastropTexas.net's photos (of Chestnut Square) here.
Sunoco / KFC / 901 State Hwy. 95
This gas station was built in 2003, originally featuring a car wash, a Sac-N-Pac (#407), and Shell gas. You can see what I wrote originally here, and to not repeat myself, the Sac-N-Pac west of town mentioned did hold out for maybe a year afterwards but it eventually converted (and before Stripes was converted to 7-Eleven, released as an independent). Finally, in early 2022, the Stripes was finally covered to 7-Eleven. Like its conversion to Sac-N-Pac, this happened sometime between mid-January and mid-February, and circumstances allowed me to see it twice in one year. Despite being a Highway 95 address, it is accessible off of Highway 21 and is listed as part of it for convenience.
2704 Highway 21 East
While it never operated under this address, Hilltop Grocery has been abandoned since the late 1990s and deteriorating (only the "H" is left on the sign). It originally opened in the mid-1970s.
Roadhouse Restaurant / 2804 Highway 21 E.
This restaurant first opened in August 2002. Later on, a second restaurant was opened in Paige.
146 Highway 21 East
This former gas station (Chevron), d/b/a Lost Pines Grocery Store, operated only from 2011 to the end of 2019 and now sits abandoned like Hilltop Grocery nearby.
Seventh Day Adventist Church / 3300 TX-21
Bastrop's Seventh Day Adventist Church has a real parking lot but uses a double-wide portable building.
The Pines at Bastrop / 472 East Highway 21
This RV Park (only 18 spots) opened sometime between 2018 and 2022.
Willow Springs Recovery / 1128 Highway 21 East This operated as a motel, Lake Bastrop Lodge, from 2012 to 2016. I am not sure of its original purpose, but it serves as Willow Springs Recovery today. BastropTexas.net has some photos of its mid-2000s incarnation as Loblolly Pines Village but it dates back to at least the mid-1970s.
Valero / 1148 Highway 21 East
"Terry's Corner" has been here since 1998. It almost certainly started out as a Diamond Shamrock before being converted to Valero in the 2000s.
Texaco / 106 Quarter Horse Loop
This Texaco gas station was built in 2017, and has a convenience store, BB Market. BB Market has "Taco Chef" and Krispy Krunchy. There's a "produce" sign outside and some fixtures inside, but woefully undermerchandised. (Maybe this was real produce originally but it seems to have fallen off quickly).
Ridgeway Baptist Church / 153 Ridgeway Cemetery
This small church upgraded its signage in the mid-2010s (a piece of the old sign, which you can see on Google Maps, is now inside the church itself. It also of course, has the adjacent Ridgeway Cemetery.
Just east of here is Highway 290, which is another route into Austin (and also goes back to Houston, though you have to exit at Brenham to continue east). Despite all the stoplights, a tollway past Manor, and that hiccup in Brenham, it remains a popular corridor from Houston to Austin. I had intended to stop at US 290 with a page on Lee County but I might as well fill it in here.
290 isn't a seamless trip between Houston and Austin, once outside the confines of Northwest Freeway, there's a cloverleaf in Bastrop to continue on the highway, stoplights in Giddings, Elgin, and Manor, and a tollway all the way into Austin from Manor. Nevertheless, the corridor remains a popular corridor from Houston to Austin.
Pilot Travel Center / Exxon / 2357 E. Texas State Highway 21
This large gas station (Pilot convenience store but Exxon gas, oddly) opened in late 2021 without much fanfare. "Paige Travel Center", as it is internally known, features an Einstein Bros. kiosk inside and an attached Whataburger restaurant.
Between the Pilot and the Valero described below, there's an underpass underneath a railroad. This has been mothballed for years; there are no trains.
Valero / 2802 Highway 21 East
This Texas A&M-themed gas station opened in 2009 as a Shell gas station. Between 2016 and 2021 it became a Valero.
There's a miniature replica of the classic Aggie Bonfire outside (as was officially sanctioned and done on Texas A&M campus prior to 1999), but it's been neglected with overgrowth.
Chevron / 1968 Texas State Highway 21
Around this point the speed limit drops as part of the entrance to Lincoln. I don't know if the gas station has always been a Chevron, but "Walch Store" has been here since at least 1988.
To the east is the bridge over US-77, which I've been on going south toward Victoria and Corpus Christi. The bridge was widened in the early 2010s, prior to this, the outer lanes split off as exit lanes and rejoined on the other side. With that said, we'll enter Caldwell.
Tex Butane Co. / 806 College Street
The addresses on the north side have the legacy addresses of College Street, a two-way street that paralleled Highway 21/71. From research, this has been a propane dealer of some sorts since the late 1990s with Tex Butane (also selling kerosene) currently owned by Tex Propane. Years ago (until sometime in the late 1980s or early 1990s) this was in fact a gas station (Texaco).
El Corral Lozano / 902 College Street
This restaurant has a few other locations in Texas (mostly small towns). El Corral Lozano #2 has been here since 2005. It was briefly River City Donuts from 2003-2004, Bluebonnet Automotive from 1998 to 2000, Chestnut Bakery in the late 1990s to 1998, and a Gulf (later converted to Chevron) from at least the 1970s to the early 1990s (the building was built in 1960). As of this writing, Google also reports "Cedar Creek Bail Bonds" being here, but that appears to be erroneous.
L&S Mart / 908 College Street
With a Conoco sign crudely painted over with "GAS" (the Conoco sign is one of the types where it isn't flat letters), this has been in operation since 2007, replacing C&G Grocery. Both stores have/had a liquor store component (at 908 College). The Conoco signage was still up in February 2008 but it was painted over within months.
Jack in the Box / 1641 Highway 71 East
Jack in the Box opened in 2010 (with the new logo obviously). It is the second Bastrop-area location of the chain.
CVS/pharmacy / 1671 Highway 71 East
Like Jack in the Box, Bastrop's CVS store was built in 2010 at the southwest corner of Jackson Street (Highway 21 jogs north) and Highway 71. It did not replace a previous location.
Buc-ee's / 1700 Highway 71 East
At the northeast corner of Highway 95 (aka Highway 21 as it routes off of 71) is Buc-ee's. Buc-ee's #28 opened its giant gas station and convenience store in May 2012. It has a Highway 71 East address but faces Highway 95. In fact, it doesn't have a Highway 71 entrance, only a right-in, right-out access, and even that wasn't direct, it connected to Pitt Street behind the store. This was true before and after the overpass at 95/21 was built. Scroll up to "Highway 21 East" to continue the route to Caldwell and beyond, though don't miss Film Alley and 1800 Walnut Street in "Other Points of Interest".
QuikTrip / 305 Jackson Street
On the other side of Highway 95 is QuikTrip #4128. It isn't as busy or as large as Buc-ee's, but still draws a loyal following. It opened in November 2020.
Exxon / 4104 State Hwy. 71
In 1991, an Exxon/Tiger Tote was built and around 2013 rebuilt (with the convenience store, still called Tiger Tote legally, was now branding as "The Tote"). In 2015, Tiger Tote's parent company, Cinco J Inc., was sold to Alimentation Couche-Tard (Circle K's parent company), resulting in the stores rebranded to Circle K in 2016.
1800 Walnut Street
1800 Walnut Street was developed with two tenants, a meat market (one story) and a Mexican restaurant (two stories) though neither one appear to connect to each other or have common ownership. Jalisco Meat Market (opened late 2012) is in fact part of the Jalisco's taqueria chain found in and around Austin, and is like any other Mexican meat market, small, sells meat, produce, some baked items, and a taqueria, including nopales (cactus) as an option for breakfast tacos. The other side of the building is a two story Mexican restaurant. The two-story La Hacienda Restaurant & Bar opened in fall 2013 (after a long delay for some reason) and closed in December 2017, being replaced with Casa Chapala Mexican Restaurant.
Film Alley / 1600 Chestnut Street
Chestnut Street is Highway 21 west of Highway 95 and goes through downtown Bastrop before eventually looping back into Highway 71. The opening of Chestnut Square back in 2003 on the edge of town was surprising at the time, but today, the cinema, known as Film Alley, is Bastrop's only full-line movie theater. The above link has a picture I took back in 2019 with additional information, but you can also see BastropTexas.net's photos (of Chestnut Square) here.