Carbon-izer - Earl Rudder Freeway

Earl Rudder Freeway (named after Earl Rudder, of course) 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 7.0 adds Aldersgate United Methodist Church, VeraBank, College Station Hyundai, Mercedes-Benz of College station, BMW of College Station, removes Country Inn & Suites (part of integrating the Southwest Parkway page), and updates Exxon (at Highway 21) and Masfajitas.

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


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).

Valero / 3239 Wilkes Street
There's not much I can say about this gas station (4 Corners Market), but you can see from the sign that this used to be a Chevron.


This is where our coverage of Highway 21 ends.

Exxon / 3402 E. State Hwy. 21
This gas station was built in 2000. The food spot to the right of the gas station has the address of 3404 E. State Highway 21. In much of the 2000s (since 2001), it was Wings 'N More Express. Village Pizza & Seafood (unknown if it was related to similarly-named establishments in southeast Houston) operated here from 2009 to 2010. Potato Shack Express operated here from 2011 to 2016, and sometime in the late 2010s, Potato Shack closed and was replaced by "Shelia's Homestyle Chicken and More". By 2022, this had been replaced with "
Bayou Blends". The spot on the left (3400 E. State Hwy 21) is currently a First Financial Bank (originally First National Bank).

Chevron / 3401 Texas State Highway 21
One of the two "new" 7-Eleven stores in town when Speedy Stop sold its two stores here. After being a TETCO for several years (even as the gas brand changed!) by December 2021 it finally became 7-Eleven. 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.
Aggieland Premiere Cinemas 16 opened in 2006, according to Cinema Treasures (and state taxpayer records back this up), ending a period of about four years where the only theater in the entire area was the Cinemark located further down. In 2013, it added an IMAX theater, though it didn't reduce the number of screens inside the theater. It also featured (initially) 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.


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.
  • Valero / 901 N. Earl Rudder Freeway
    One of the four Valero/Corner Store operations in town at the time of the Circle K takeover in 2018, but for whatever reason, Circle K did not take over this store. It was a Diamond Shamrock as of 2007, and going back further, was (likely) a Philips 66 under J.W.'s Country Stores. (See link).


    Exxon / Wendy's / 891 N. Earl Rudder Fwy.
    Opened in June 1998 as the first gas station/fast food combo in town, neither Wendy's nor Exxon have changed their major brands. The Exxon convenience store was originally Tiger Town and was eventually bought by Rattlers by the mid-2000s. By 2018, the Rattlers was "technically" a 7-Eleven with some 7-Eleven branded products but it still never had a Slushee machine, in fact, they didn't even get any "Slush Monkee" machines from Stripes, either. A few years later, the Rattlers name still hung on the store but it had been disconnected from 7-Eleven with generic red-and-yellow cups and other off-brand products.

    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).

    Bryan/College Station Toyota / 728 N. Earl Rudder Freeway
    From 1999 to 2019 this was Atkinson Toyota, a Toyota dealership. In January 2019, owner Joe Atkinson retired and the dealership assumed its current name.

    WoodSpring Suites / 620 N. Earl Rudder Freeway
    Opened in June 2013, this hotel opened as Value Place, a chain of extended-stay hotels. In 2015, Value Place became WoodSpring Suites (corporate rebrand to shed the cheap-looking image and logo), and in 2018 the chain became a part of Choice Hotels.

    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.


    Target / 3061 Wildflower Drive
    We'll be covering Bryan Towne Center in a future update, but this Target (facing Wildflower, which runs in front of the center), is T-2428 and opened April 2008.

    First Baptist Church / 3100 Cambridge Dr.
    This church was built in the mid-1990s. It presumably relocated from another location, but their website isn't much help.

    Wilton's OfficeWorks / 181 N. Earl Rudder Freeway
    Home of the aforementioned McCoy's, this became Office Furniture USA in 2000 and was eventually rebranded as Wilton's OfficeWorks. From 1982 to 1996 this served as McCoy's Building Supply Center.

    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 (see below).

    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.


    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.

    Maria Mia TexMex Cantina / 1007 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    This restaurant opened in May 2022. It replaced a Ninfa's Mexican Restaurant (moved from 1102 Harvey); which 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.


    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.

    Aldersgate United Methodist Church / 2201 Earl Rudder Freeway
    Aldersgate has been here since 1984 (when the frontage roads were two way), but under the old numbering was 6501 East Bypass.

    Masfajitas / 2297 Earl Rudder Freeway
    This was built as a Dickey's Barbecue Pit and later reopened as this Caldwell-based restaurant in 2020. (See the 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.

    VeraBank / 2531 Earl Rudder Freeway
    VeraBank opened its first area branch in June 2021.


    This is where Southwest Parkway ends. In the 1980s, Southwest Parkway gained a new bridge across to the new Raintree subdivision, requiring a slight re-routing of the road.

    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.

    A&M Church of Christ / 2475 Earl Rudder Fwy.
    Over on the east side of the freeway is A&M Church of Christ. This was built in the early 2000s as a church, their old location was at 1901 Harvey Mitchell Pkwy. South, which was later purchased and renovated by Grace Bible Church as their Southwood Campus. (See the FM 2818 page).


    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.

    College Station Hyundai / 3405 Highway 6 South
    Also known as Brazos Valley Imports (and formerly Garlyn Shelton Hyundai), this dealership moved here in late 2019 as part of the sprawling new Brazos Valley Imports auto dealership complex. (I'm pretty sure they're all under common ownership)

    Mercedes-Benz of College Station / 3413 Highway 6 South
    Most of the back part is unused (future expansion?) but to the immediate south is the Mercedes-Benz dealership.

    BMW of College Station / 3417 Highway 6 South
    This car dealership would be at the corner of Technology Parkway and Highway 6, but construction of the car dealership cut off Technology Parkway from Highway 6. Access to Technology Parkway is through a public alley behind the car dealerships.

    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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