Carbon-izer - Highway 21 in Bryan

If you're following from the west, this continues from the bottom of the Caldwell page as we continue Highway 21 into Bryan and re-connect to Highway 6. If not, this goes toward Bastrop and eventually the Austin/San Marcos area. Version 2.0 of this page fixes major formatting issues, updates Exxon (at FM 2818), Shannon's Cafe, and adds Taqueria El Mundo Del Taco, Shell (at Tabor Road), and The Bait Barn Fisheries.


Just four miles into Brazos County is the "RELLIS" campus of Texas A&M, formerly Riverside Campus. This will eventually be covered on this site. There's also the exit to Highway 47 (later renamed Riverside Parkway), which connects 21 to FM 60.

Citgo / 7700 Highway 21 W.
Also known as Smetana Grocery and an Exxon until the early/mid 2010s, this somewhat interesting grocery store was covered in more detail in a 2021 blog post.

El Dorado Chemical / 6732 Highway 21 West
I'm not sure when El Dorado located here but on July 30, 2009, the existing facility caught fire, leading to a partial evacuation of the city of Bryan. Ten people were hospitalized for smoke inhalation but thankfully the fire burned itself out without igniting the ammonium nitrate.

Here's the local archive of the above link. Since the fire the facility has been fully rebuilt.


Here we have the exchange with Harvey Mitchell Parkway via frontage roads. The intersection with the northbound frontage road has a stoplight but the southbound does not.

Exxon / 2909 Hwy. 21 W.
The "Get-N-Go" convenience store as part of this Exxon gas station (at the southeast corner of Highway 21 and 2818) existed for years, going back to 1989, though briefly it became a Diamond Shamrock (I vaguely remember this and thought I was confusing with it with the Highway 6/21 location but another source seems to confirm it) in the mid-2000s. In 2016 it was torn down and rebuilt (still an Exxon) and features Aurora, a new local convenience store chain (this was the first location, more have been opened or in the works).

Texaco / 2714 Texas State Highway 21
This gas station dates back to the 1980s and is currently called "Hwy 21 Truck Stop" as it has been since around 2007. Between 2016 and late 2019 it transitioned to a Texaco from a Philips 66. It also has a taqueria inside.

Brazos County Juvenile Detention Center / 1904 Texas Highway 21
This facility was originally built in the late 1990s/early 2000s but recently almost doubled in size. Next door is the Brazos County Office of the Sheriff that connects, via parking lot, to the main county jail, which has been around for decades (but expanded).

A-1 Towing / 108 San Jacinto Lane
This long-running towing/wrecker service (since 1959, and has been here since at least the mid-1960s) is about where the "San Jacinto Lane" designation starts. Before a reconfiguration in the late 1990s or early 2000s changed it into a traditional intersection, the road split between Sandy Point Road (going southeast, the only remnant is a long driveway near Bryan Church of Christ) and "San Jacinto Lane", Highway 21 as it went through Bryan (which was two lanes prior to the re-work).

Chevron / 1500 W. William Joel Bryan Pkwy.
This Chevron station opened in 2010. It has a convenience store, "Super Donuts", and a washateria.

Shannon's Cafe / 601 San Jacinto Lane
Shannon's Bar-B-Que (the "Cafe" name came later) moved into a converted house in the mid-1980s at the corner of Peale Street and Highway 21 in the mid-1980s from 1111 W. 19th. In 2015 or 2016 a new, more modern building was built directly next to the old one (the original building still does catering). The restaurant has soul food like fried chicken and oxtails.

Dollar General / 1201 W. Martin Luther King Jr. St.
This Dollar General opened back in 2012 and faces MLK Jr. Street which turns back northwest and intersects with Highway 21 despite being parallel with it going east.

Taqueria El Mundo Del Taco / 710 San Jacinto Lane
This was originally a Shell station and converted to Summit in the early 2000s. By 2017 the pumps had been removed, and by 2021 this restaurant had replaced the former Lone Star Grocery, the convenience store portion. While it still has the Summit logos up on the gas canopy (as well as a price indicator, bearing the original yellow-and-red from Shell), the larger road sign has been replaced. Additionally, West Side Liquor Store is open at 708 San Jacinto Lane, having opened in 2021.

BCS Fish & Ribs / 800 San Jacinto Lane
Until the very early 2000s this was a Fina gas station with a convenience store. After being abandoned for several years, it became "West Side BBQ" in December 2008 before closing after 2012. BCS Fish & Ribs has been here since 2013.

El Charro Mexican Grill / 1411 San Jacinto Lane
This Mexican restaurant opened in 2020 and is the same building where a rotating cast of almost exclusively Mexican restaurants have occupied the spot since the early 1970s. This was the location of the first Mi Cocina Restaurant in town (not to be confused with any larger chain) in 1991 which expanded to about four restaurants before dissolving. In 2014, the location became Pepper's Cocina (the others became Polly's Cocina), before closing in 2018. Polly's Cocina is still at the intersection of Rock Prairie Road and FM 2154.


After the railroad underpass, Highway 21 intersects with Texas Avenue.


The main tenant here was originally a Safeway built in 1986. A few years later, it and every other store in the former Houston Division of Safeway (numbering about 100 stores) converted to AppleTree. This store would end up being the last AppleTree-branded store in the chain. After being rebranded as Super Canasta, the store went through a few more changes before closing. La Michoacana Meat Market eventually took up half of the store space with A&M Furniture opening soon after.

Shell / 2300 E. Highway 21
This Shell features "Hwy Express" and features a Krispy Krunchy chicken restaurant inside (as well as taqueria). Fatty's Smoke Shop takes up residence in one of the leased spaces adjacent.

Don Chente Mexican & Seafood Restaurant / 2701 E. State Highway 21
Bush's Chicken had a pretty rough run in Bryan-College Station and this location opened in late 2016 as the third restaurant. By 2018, however, it was the only one left as the other two closed down. After sitting abandoned for a few years, it was rehabilitated and reopened as the second location of Don Chente Mexican & Seafood Restaurant, which opened in September 2021.

Wings 'N More Express / 2612 E. Highway 21
This fast casual version of Wings 'N More opened in 2001 with a slightly trimmed & modified menu.

The Bait Barn Fisheries / 2704 East Highway 21
This converted house has operated as this shop since the late 1970s. In addition to bait, beer, and fishing supplies, it also offers fish stocking services.

Burger King / 2802 E. State Highway 21
This Burger King opened in 2008 during an ill-conceived push by a new franchisee to open more Burger King restaurants in Bryan-College Station. Shiloh Foods, the franchisee at the time, had intended to open more restaurants but failed and sold the stores that were open (which included the four in Bryan-College Station, including this one, plus a Chappell Hill location). The Downtown Bryan one had not made it, closing after a run of just a few years.

Palm Harbor Village / 2901 State Hwy. 21 E.

While this place is a franchise of manufacutred homes, it can't of course be "Palm Harbor" without some palm trees, and I took this picture because it was one of the only palm trees in the area that wasn't killed by a particularly bad winter storm in February 2021, sprouting new fronds. (Picture from May 2021).

McDonald's / 2930 E. Hwy. 21
One of the earlier McDonald's restaurants in the area, opening in 1984. A blog post is planned for it is in the future. Unfortunately, it had been rebuilt in the early 2000s.

Dairy Queen / 3003 Highway 21 East
This Dairy Queen has been here since at least the late 1970s. It seems that originally it had 3000 Highway 21 East erroneously until the mid-1990s.

Brazos Inn / 3113 Highway 21 E.
Opened sometime around 1983 as Brazos Inn, this became Motel 6 in 2013. It originally had a full-service restaurant where the hotel offices are currently. Highway 21 continues across Highway 6 (the page is here) but that won't be covered. About 36 miles to the northeast is Madisonville, where the highway meets I-45. The road comes to an end just west of Crockett 70 miles from this point where it meets Highway 7, though the 21 designation continues to the Louisiana border at Hemphill, where it becomes Louisiana State Highway 6.

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