Carbon-izer - Earl Rudder Freeway
EARL RUDDER FREEWAY



Earl Rudder Freeway is the Highway 6 bypass built in the early 1970s around College Station-Bryan, replacing the long Texas Avenue (which ran through both towns) as the de facto Highway 6. In the decades following, development has largely stayed on Texas Avenue, with few commercial developments on the highway until relatively recently. As the areas in College Station/Bryan are mostly explored on Brazos Buildings & Businesses, most entries will link to them. Version 4.0 buffs some of the Bryan entries, adding Sleep Inn & Suites (and a link to the Texas Avenue in Bryan page), Aggieland RV Park, NAPA Auto & Truck Parts, Extra Space Storage (the lone College Station entry), adds a new link to the North Texas Avenue page, and adds a link back to the FM 2818 page. *As we went to press, the Texas Avenue-Bryan page was cancelled and pushed to another version.

To the north is Highway 6 in Calvert & Hearne, and the northern terminus of FM 2818.

HARVEY MITCHELL PARKWAY NORTH (FM 2818) to WILLIAM JOEL BRYAN PARKWAY (FM 158) / BOONVILLE ROAD (FM 158)

Sleep Inn & Suites / 2825 N. Earl Rudder Freeway
Connecting to the Chevron parking lot and removing a portion of Northpoint Business Park to build (see the FM 2818 page), this hotel opened in 2017.

Just south of here is the access ramp to North Texas Avenue.

Aggieland RV Park / 3203 Colson Road
This RV park fronts the highway and is accessed off of Colson Road (on the east side). The sprawling facility was built around 2009 and by 2014 had expanded, with a back entrance onto Highway 21. (Their website is here).

Chevron / 3401 Texas State Highway 21
One of the two "new" 7-Eleven stores in town when Speedy Stop sold its two stores here. Ironically, the station is still branded as a TETCO, rather than 7-Eleven as former Stripes/Rattlers have been, but it tends to be more of a "real" 7-Eleven than them (like getting more promotional foods). The gas station brand has changed out names over the years, and the store itself once served as a "Circle K Truxtop". See the corresponding blog post here.

NAPA Auto & Truck Parts / 2720 Osborn Lane
This is off of Osborn Lane but still faces the freeway. Despite being solidly in Bryan, legally the store name is "College Station Auto Parts".

Sam Rayburn Middle School / 1048 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
Efforts to find when when Sam Rayburn Intermediate School (formerly Sam Rayburn Middle School, but was changed to Intermediate School like Jane Long on the west side of town was) opened have proved elusive. It is unusual in that all access to the school is via the northbound frontage road of the highway. A new back entrance to Copperfield was proposed at one time, but later defeated.

Imperial Chinese & Sushi / 980 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
This was built as a Tony Roma's in spring 2011 (though could've opened late 2010). It was an odd choice--most of the domestic Tony Roma's have closed, with only around 20 remaining. After 2012, they didn't even sell any more franchises for another six years. When Tony Roma's closed in December 2012, Imperial opened in July 2014. Imperial is actually one of the few sit-down Chinese restaurants in town and the first of three restaurants to sit in front of the Premiere movie theater.

Hooters / 960 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
Plans had been in the work to add a Hooters to the area since the mid-to-late 2000s but one finally reached the area in July 2018.

Aggieland Premiere LUX Cine 15 IMAX and Pizza Pub / 950 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
Once again, I previously wrote a description on this for Wikimapia, which I'll edit and update for this page.
For most of the 2000s, Bryan lacked a movie theater. Aggieland Premiere Cinemas 16 opened in 2006, according to Cinema Treasures (and state taxpayer records back this up). In 2013, it added an IMAX theater, though it didn't reduce the number of screens inside the theater. It also featured the Backstage Bistro, an eatery with higher-class food items than the typical concession stand fare.

I'm not sure when it assumed its current name, but the website can be found here.

Cotton Patch Cafe / 940 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
The second local location of Cotton Patch Cafe opened in summer 2007.

COLONY PARK

Shopping center at Boonville Road and North Earl Rudder Freeway, constructed at year-end 2005. A directory (and map) can be seen here. Some of the restaurants (Taco Bell, Dutch Bros) were all built later, but a selected few have been covered in more detail below.
  • Freddy's Frozen Custard (930 North Earl Rudder Freeway) opened in summer 2012 (to major crowds and lines, as is typical for new restaurants in town, even chain ones) and linked the front of the parking lot of the theater and Colony Park together (there was a connection in the back).
  • Kroger (2303 Boonville Road) opened in December 2005 (according to taxpayer records) as a Kroger Signature store with about 70,000 square feet of space but in 2020 completed an expansion that gave it even more space plus Kroger's new logo. (It had been updated once prior to the expansion). It has included a Starbucks coffee stand since day one.
  • Jack in the Box (900 N. Earl Rudder Freeway) is store #3855 and predates the center, opening in 2003).
  • Subway (2305 Boonville Road, Suite 750) is part of the main strip (all with the address of 2305 Boonville, the stores directly next to Kroger are 910 N. Earl Rudder Freeway) and opened in June 2006. For years, up until the mid-2010s, you could bet if there was a new shopping center, Centex Subway would be right there with a new restaurant.
  • WILLIAM JOEL BRYAN PARKWAY (FM 158) / BOONVILLE ROAD (FM 158) to BRIARCREST DRIVE (FM 1179)

    McCoy's Building Supply / 2300 Boonville Road
    McCoy's moved here in 1996 from what is now 181 North Earl Rudder Freeway.

    Twin Peaks / 768 North Earl Rudder Freeway
    Opened in June 2021, this was originally Kreuz Market, a restuarant based out of Lockhart and opened in February 2, 2015. Kreuz made a serious effort to make it just like the original Lockhart location, including trucking in coals from that location, and more controversially, the decision to honor the Lockhart tradition of not having forks or sauce. It was forced to adapt to the market (changed within two and a half months) and after an ownership change that franchised the store, the restaurant closed in September 2018. (Like the Premiere Cinemas description above, this is also something I originally wrote on Wikimapia).

    McDonald's / 608 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
    This McDonald's opened in July 2014.

    Exxon / 600 North Earl Rudder Freeway
    Starting as a knockoff of Buc-ee's, this Stripes gas station is, unofficially, the largest 7-Eleven store in the United States (if not the world). This large size is probably the reason why the Stripes signage still hangs. See the corresponding blog post here.

    BRIARCREST DRIVE (FM 1179) to UNIVERSITY DRIVE EAST (FM 60)

    Lowe's / 3225 Freedom Blvd.
    Lowe's faces Briarcrest (even though it's set back a good 300 yards, even from the edge of the parking lot) and opened in May 1996.

    Furniture Row / 281 N. Earl Rudder Freeway
    Furniture Row opened in 2003, as one of their centers featuring four inter-connected stores. Today, Denver Mattress (which they acquired) still holds its original name, from left to right it's Furniture Row Living (originally Sofa Mart), Denver Mattress, Furniture Row Bedroom (originally Bedroom Expressions), and Furniture Row Dining (originally Oak Express). The entire center runs about 55,000 square feet.

    NTB (National Tire & Battery) / 504 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    Entering into College Station, the numbering resets with just Earl Rudder Freeway, though some sources use Earl Rudder Freeway South (this site will just use "Earl Rudder Freeway". This NTB (National Tire & Battery) retail store was built in 2008.

    Ramada / 506 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    The third and current Ramada Inn in College Station (Ramada by Wyndham College Station), debranding their Texas Avenue hotel. This opened in 2010.

    Olive Garden / 510 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Olive Garden opened here in very early 2005 after their old location had burned down.

    Freebirds World Burrito / 700 Earl Rudder Freeway
    This location of Freebirds World Burrito was built around 2006.

    Chicken Express / 710 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Chicken Express was built here around 2005 to replace their gas station location.

    Exxon 800-804 Earl Rudder Freeway
    The Exxon here was built in 2000 and features a convenience store (Gateway Express Mart, later Drew's Exxon & Express Mart as of 2015). 800 Earl Rudder Freeway applies to what was originally Chicken Express (left in the mid-2000s for a new store), replaced with a Sonic (part of their big building boom in the mid-2000s), and then closed and replaced with a new restaurant that had not been in town before.

    After Sonic closed in early 2011, this was a location of The Original Fried Pie Shop, one of their furthest south locations. It opened in August 2011 and became "Nana's Fried Pies" a year later, which lasted another six months before closing for good. Too bad, as TOFPS was an interesting concept, their pies were obviously better than anything you could get in a convenience store (or a Whataburger) and they had some savory meat pies too. By fall 2013 it became Kolache Rolf's, which remains to this day. The convenience store (802) hasn't much changes; nor has the Subway (804) with the exception of their newer (2002) logo.

    To see the University Drive East page, head over here.

    UNIVERSITY DRIVE EAST (FM 60) to HARVEY ROAD (TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY 30)

    Hampton Inn & Suites / 925 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    Distinguished from its older Texas Avenue counterpart with the "& Suites" part, this hotel was built in 2004. Behind the hotel is an old, unusable bridge that connected to the
    Greensworld holes.

    1007 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    Former Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant (moved from 1102 Harvey); operated here from 2007 to 2019.

    Cinemark Movies 18 and XD / 1401 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    This needs a better look on the blog, but this theater opened as Hollywood USA Movies 16, back in 1993. In the early 2000s it repainted and added stadium seating, and later added two new screens. I don't know when the name changed but it was about the time the marquee was just repainted as a mural and removed the movies showing.

    Sam's Club / 1405 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    Sam's Club opened around 1992. The gas station came about a decade later.

    Lock & Roll Storage / 1501 Earl Rudder Freeway
    This former Furrow Building Materials store (see the blog for more) opened in the early "aughts" and is near the intersection of Harvey Road and Highway 6.

    HARVEY ROAD (TEXAS STATE HIGHWAY 30) to HARVEY MITCHELL PARKWAY SOUTH (FM 2818) / EMERALD PARKWAY

    The Harvey Road page is here. At the southwest corner of the intersection is Post Oak Mall (see Harvey Road page), which is seen very prominently. For years, you could see Sears and Foley's (later Macy's) quite prominently until both left. Conn's has replaced Sears, but only in half of it.

    Masfajitas / 2297 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Built as a Dickey's Barbecue Pit and later reopened as this Caldwell-based restraurant in 2020. (See corresponding blog post). It is located in At Home's parking lot.

    Cavender's Boot City / 2300 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Cavender's opened in 2004 following a long-vacant Wolfe Nursery which had been abandoned for about six years at that point.

    At Home / 2301 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Formerly the site of a large golf driving range, a Gander Mountain was opened here in 2007. In August 2017, it closed and re-opened as an At Home in October 2018 (which included a slight expansion of the building).

    2351 Earl Rudder Freeway
    This former Academy was open from 2002 to 2017 until it moved down the street. It replaced a store on Texas Avenue.

    Grand Station / 2400 Earl Rudder Freeway
    This has been a bowling alley and entertainment center for almost as long as I've lived. More info at the blog page.

    Academy Sports + Outdoors / 2511 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Part of the new "Providence Place" development, this Academy opened in June 2017.

    Extra Space Storage / 2474 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    This three-story storage unit center built in front of the Holiday Inn (below) and was completed in 2021.

    Holiday Inn & Suites / 2500 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Opened in the mid-2000s. I've written a longer piece here about it.

    HARVEY MITCHELL PARKWAY SOUTH (FM 2818) / EMERALD PARKWAY to ROCK PRAIRIE ROAD

    Please see the Harvey Mitchell Parkway page, as this is where the loop road starts (according to this page's structure).

    Cooper's Old Time Pit Bar-B-Que / 3055 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    This opened October 2019 and is a spin-off of a Llano barbecue restaurant (which I have eaten at), though from what I've heard of this one it's not really the same.
    At this point, coverage on the west side ends at the Texas Avenue interchange, due to the southbound frontage road curling down and connecting to Deacon Drive. As a result, the businesses on the west side until Rock Prairie Road are covered at the Texas Avenue South page.

    Courtyard at Marriott / 3939 Texas State Highway 6
    Built in 2002 and dethroning what is now Americas Best Value Inn as the "furthest south hotel" (holding it for more than a decade before Best Western snatched it), this hotel features 119 rooms and six suites on three floors. An outdoor pool is located behind it.

    Just south of this is Rock Prairie Road, where our next page, Highway 6 South, begins.


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