Exxon / 17124 East Freeway
This was Key Truck Stop with Philips 66 as of 2008, when it was converted to Exxon by 2011 it still featured the Key Truck Restaurant; however, by 2014 the restaurant had become El Dorado Mexican Grill. A few years later, the restaurant was remodeled and reopened as Texas Forever Bar & Grill, in conjunction with the convenience store becoming Texas Forever (stylized as "TX-4EVER", like the current Texas license plate, white on black). By 2023 it had become a different convenience store (if similarly named), up-and-coming convenience store chain Now & Forever.
Wendy's / 15770 I-10 E.
This Wendy's opened in 1982 and is the last known "solarium" Wendy's restaurant in the Houston area. The sign height was chopped in half in the early 2010s (less visible from the freeway), and sometime around 2021, the copper-colored roof was repainted black but no signage was updated.
To the west of the Wendy's at 15760 IH 10 East was Captain D's (#3674) from approximately 1984 to 2003. It was demolished in the mid-2000s.
Chevron / 411 Sheldon Road
This was built as a Chevron/Quizno's circa 2007 (replacing an older gas station on the site) but the Quizno's failed within two years. For several years afterward, the co-brand side simply read "Sub", it now advertises NYC Burgers, a small shop set up in the former space. It has no dedicated entrance. (The convenience store is currently King Fuels).
17203 East Freeway
This was a failed Jack in the Box restaurant (1997-1999). In 2000, a local car dealership ("Franklin Pre-Owned Dealership") tried to make a go of the location but closed a few years later. It has been abandoned since. The Interstate numbering resets to 1000 after crossing the bay bridge east of here.
Love's Travel Stop / 1703 I-10
Baytown is still in Harris County but the numbering resets at Lynchburg. This Love's truck stop features a McDonald's in addition to a store and gas pumps. This was formerly a Pilot Travel Center when it opened in 1999 but was sold to Love's in 2010 following Pilot's purchase of Flying J.
Flying J Travel Center / 1876 East Fwy.
Completed in the fall of 2005, this had previously had Conoco gasoline but by 2021 had changed over to be self-branded. It features a Denny's inside, something it has had since its opening.
1901 East Fwy.
This gas station was originally built in the late 1980s and as of 2013, this was "Baytown Express Travel Center" (with Valero). It lost that name by 2015 and converted to Chevron in 2016 (with a mild renovation to the premises) and has been shut down since at least 2021. It isn't fully abandoned, a mobile building on the premises operates as "Four G's CB Shop".
TravelCenters of America / 6800 Thompson Road
This TA truck stop (built c. 2002) had a "Country Pride" restaurant but it has been non-functional since early 2020 and was replaced with an IHOP around spring 2023. The gas brand here is a Shell.
Buc-ee's / 4080 East Freeway
This is a branch of the Texas gas station chain Buc-ee's, known for its beaver mascot, clean restrooms, and amazingly huge convenience stores. This location (#34) is no exception: this store's restrooms include 27 stalls in the women's restroom and 34 urinals and 12 stalls in the mens restroom. There is also an on-site ice plant that can produce 2000 pounds of ice (100 bags) every 20 minutes. This store, which has 60 employees per shift, has a full deli and multiple gift items (totaling over 1,200). The 60,000 square feet location (with 48 gas pumps and 96 fueling positions) broke ground in January 2014 and opened December the same year.
7-Eleven / 6012 East Fwy.
This 7-Eleven opened in mid to late 2022 with a self-branded gas station and a Laredo Taco Company taco counter inside. Unlike other facilities in the area, it is not a truck stop.
Valero / 6110 East Freeway
This was originally a Pilot Travel Center when it opened in 1995 and sold out around 2001 when it opened a new travel center further west. In the early 2000s it was a Citgo. At this point, a KFC was added, but around 2010 it closed and was replaced with Hartz Chicken Buffet, which operated from 2011 to summer 2016, and in 2017, Dickey's BBQ Pit replaced it. Dickey's still keeps the distinctive late-1990s red-and-white striped roof of KFC, though painted the white stripes black.
Houston East RV Resort / 11810 I-10
From its opening in 1992 to around 2004, this RV park, "Houston East RV Resort, flew under the Kampgrounds of America flag.
Chevron Phillips Chemical Company - Cedar Bayou Plant / 9500 East Fwy.
While not the best neighbor, this petrochemicals plant originally opened in 1962 as part of Gulf Oil Company, transferred to Standard Oil of California (Chevron) in the 1980s when Gulf was acquired and spun off into the Chevron Phillips Chemical Company in 2000 when Chevron and Phillips combined their chemical divisions into a single jointly-owned company. In 2002, Phillips merged with Conoco in a merger of equals, and then spun off their share of the company with the new spin-off The Phillips 66 Company in 2012.
It's quite impressive to see at night. For the best effect, try listening opening of Blade Runner (particularly three minutes in). Just past the rail line is Chambers County, the journey through Harris complete.
Walmart / 5655 East Sam Houston Parkway North
Walmart #3500 opened in September 2002 as a Wal-Mart Supercenter, but faces Wallisville Road (it did not replace an existing store). There's a Murphy USA gas station at the corner of the southbound frontage road and Wallisville Road, as well as a Panera Bread in the parking lot. The Panera Bread is closest to Beltway 8 but has a Wallisville address (15450 Wallisville Road) and was built in 2013.
Iguana Joe's / 5710 East Sam Houston Pkwy. N.
This stand-alone restaurant opened in fall 2007 to replace their old location, 12611 Woodforest Blvd. Ste. F (Iguana Joe's #2, opened 1997).
Galena Park ISD / 14705 Woodforest Boulevard
This building, housing the offices for the Galena Park school district, was originally built and operated as a Randall's supermarket, specifically, Randalls #50 (1050) roughly from 1990 to 2000. (This is listed with the Beltway 8 entries, even though it faces south, it's right off the frontage road).
McDonald's / 7000 Garth Road
Originally built in 1986, this McDonald's as I remember it had a nautical theme inside (basically blue walls and a few paintings of boats) with an outdoor playground. Around 2012 it was demolished and rebuilt to what it is today, a "yellow eyebrow" McDonald's with an indoor Playplace. The restaurant faces Garth Road but the sign is for highway drivers and the parking lot connects to the eastbound frontage road of I-10.
6900 Garth Road
After a long pronounced decline, there is nothing left of San Jacinto Mall, located at the southwest corner of Garth Road and Interstate 10. It opened in 1981 with two overlapping wings (a little hard to describe, you'll have to look at a map to see what I mean), featuring five department stores, Mervyn's, Sears, Montgomery Ward, Foley's, and JCPenney, and four junior department stores, Bealls, Palais Royal, The Fair (replaced by Marshalls later), and Wilson's (later Service Merchandise). Eventually, all of these closed. Montgomery Ward closed with the chain's bankruptcy in 2001 and Mervyn's closed in January 2006 (when the chain pulled out of Houston), but ultimately the remaining three anchors closed as well: Sears (2018 as part of the chain's bankruptcy reorganization), JCPenney (2020 when that chain declared bankruptcy), and finally Macy's in 2021 (having converted from Foley's in 2006). During all this time, various redevelopment plans were circulated around, starting with one wing being redeveloped as apartments or outdoor retail. By the early 2010s, two of the wings had been demolished and eventually the whole thing was demolished. A closer look at this defunct mall is planned for this site with other links, but that's in the future for now. For now, there is an old Labelscar post, which is where I first learned of this mall. The DeadMalls.com entry is less helpful, though it does include a YouTube video that at least is entertaining to the halfway point. We'll be adding some of those same ads soon.
Exxon / 6525 Garth Road
This used to be a RaceWay (originally opened in 1995 as RaceTrac, converted to RaceWay in 2005) and sold its area stores to 7-Eleven in early 2021 (this one gained the Exxon name as a gas brand). When it was converted, the sign was also shortened...it used to be twice as tall.
H-E-B / 6430 Garth Road
After Baytown's lone H-E-B (former Pantry) closed in January 2012 for a Joe V's, Baytown regained a new H-E-B in December 2017. It's about 94,000 square feet.
Taco Cabana / 6311 Garth Road
This was built as a Pollo Tropical in 2016 but lasted a matter of months, and in 2018, it was reopened as sister chain Taco Cabana, which it still is.
Starbucks / 4557 Garth Road
This was Boston Market from 1995 to 1997, then Taco Cabana for a few years (1999-2003) before becoming Starbucks Coffee in 2004.
4610 Garth Road
This former Golden Corral operated from 1995 to 2020.
AR's Entertainment Hub / 4533 Garth Road
AR's Entertainment Hub opened January 2021 inside this former Kroger (branded as Kroger Signature during the 2000s and 2010s) that closed in March 2016 (replaced with a new Kroger Marketplace up the road at 6351 Garth). The Kroger originally opened in 1982 though looks like it expanded over the years.
Target / 4510 Garth Road
Baytown's lone Target store opened in 1994 and has been updated several times since its opening.
Taqueria Arandas / 3912 Garth Road
This opened as an Arby's in fall 2008 but closed in early 2011. It has been Taqueria Arandas since 2013. Later on, Taqueria Arandas built an addition in front of the store.
Hibachi Grill & Buffet / 3703 Garth Road
This has been here since 2009. This was Ryan's from approx. 1993 to 2007.
Joe V's Smart Shop / 3500 Garth Road
This store opened in January 2012 as the fifth Joe V's store ever built. This store, a division of H-E-B, had to gut an old Kmart (1992-2003) to build it, most notably replacing the original facade and carving out a notch in the back to stick the new loading docks in.
3422 Garth Road
This was originally Krispy Kreme, which opened April 2017 but closed in November 2018. In 2020 it reopened as a Taco Bueno but closed about two years later.
Kroger / 1700 North Alexander Drive
This Kroger store opened in 1971 as a Kroger Family Center. HHR has a good write-up on it here.
Food Town / 3517 N. Main Street
Like other cities and neighborhoods in the Houston area, Baytown once had an Albertsons they could call their own. Albertsons #2727 opened in 1996 and was sold to Grocers Supply Company in the spring of 2002, which they quickly reopened as Food Town.
Chick-fil-A / 14335 East Sam Houston Pkwy. N.
Located at the northeastern part of the Beltway (the part that was frontage lane only until around 2011-2012) and opened in 2017, this is mentioned because just on the other side of the cross-street Summer Creek Trace Drive, a Lowe's was constructed in 2018 but was never 100% completed or occupied. Instead, the building was torn down for Fidelis Westlake Apartments (12211 Summer Creek Trace Drive). There's not much about the undead Lowe's, though this article does mention it.