Island Spot / 1017 61st Street
Little is known about the current tenant but it appears to be a hybrid smoke shop/restaurant opened in 2022. Historically this was a Kettle restaurant (#60) from 1974 to the early 1990s (still retains the architecture), then The Diner at 61st (1996 to August 2008), Island Cafe (2009-2011), and The Seafood Depot (2015-2016).
Hooters / 6028 Heards Lane
This coastside restaurant has had many changes in hands over the years. All dates are approximate. On the Bayou (2014-2015), Flamingo Steak & Seafood (2013), Saka Sushi & Hibachi (2011-2012), China Island (2005-2010), and China Border (2000-2005), and Shoney's (1992-1998), with the original tenant (estimated to be from the late 1980s) was "Mad Grizzly Restaurant". It was rebuilt around 2000 for China Border). Hooters opened in fall 2017 after nearly a decade-long absence in Galveston, having its coastal-side location destroyed in Hurricane Ike.
Jack in the Box / 2300 61st Street
It appears that this was once labeled as 2400 61st Street (and 2300 61st Street is still wrong, it should be 2307 61st Street, which is what GCAD indicates, but Jack in the Box has been here since 1975...though was rebuilt in 2001.
CVS/pharmacy / 2326 61st Street
This CVS opened in 2004, but after the Eckerd conversion, even though it was built as an Eckerd.
Odyssey Academy / 6013 Stewart Road
Best known to me as the former H-E-B Pantry Foods familiar to me from going on vacation. It always brought a smile to my face every time we were in Galveston, because of the familiarity of the H-E-B Pantry, and even moreso (post-2002, such as 2005) after the old local H-E-B Pantry stores closed as they were replaced with full-line stores. Of course, it wasn't always an H-E-B Pantry. It should be obvious by construction alone. Safeway #942 opened in 1976. (There was even a second Safeway in Galveston at 2515 Avenue P opened in a former Weingarten). Around 1986, both Safeway stores in Galveston closed. (The entire Houston Division would be spun off as AppleTree not too long after). After Safeway left, from 1987 to 1989, it was King Saver #2. By early 1990 it was operating as an H-E-B Pantry (#286), as part of the new H-E-B Pantry concept introduced in 1988 (this was before the Houston area proper got the stores). The Pantry stores lacked much of the things that real H-E-B stores had, or even grocery stores of the day. The prototype had "only four departments: grocery, meat, produce, and health and beauty", so things like a deli and bakery, and even a pharmacy, were out of the question.
In 2009, Odyssey Academy opened at the site. Odyssey Academy's former location at 901 13th Street had been functionally destroyed by Hurricane Ike. One of the things that I should mention is that H-E-B didn't occupy all the space. Roughly from 1998 to 2006, there was "99 Cent & More", from 1993 to 1995, "Chagani Brothers" (likely operated under different name), and likely others. The larger retail space next to it was an Eckerd (2510 61st Street), which moved in 2004, though by the time it actually opened it was a CVS (see entry above).
2711 61st Street
This was originally Wal-Mart #504 which operated from August 1983 to March 1995. After its demise it was divided into three spaces. From north to south, these were Office Depot, Spec's Wine, Spirits, & Finer Foods, and Palais Royal. Office Depot has been here since 1998. Spec's has been here since 2008, it was previously Hastings. There's a space next to the store that is also badged as 2711 today, for a while Palais Royal had expanded into it but now it is occupied by Hibbett Sports and City Gear. From what I can piece together, this was originally Bealls, opened in 1993 next to Wal-Mart, and eventually moved into the former Wal-Mart, taking the Palais Royal name as its parent company moved to eliminate the name in the Houston area. Before Palais Royal closed, the former Bealls got a new entrance (it was walled off after the expansion), with the name of Palais Royal Shoes. After it closed, that's what City Gear and Hibbett occupy, Marshalls occupies the part of the former Wal-Mart.
Taco Cabana / 2729 61st Street
This restaurant in the parking lot was Two Pesos from 1986 to 1993. It was converted to a Taco Cabana after Two Pesos was purchased by it.
Little Caesars / 2806 61st Street
This was Long John Silver's from 1994 to 2005 and became Little Caesars in 2006. It's not even the only LJS-Little Caesars conversion in the Houston area, the store at 4998 Highway 6 suffered a similar fate.
Randalls / 2931 Central City Blvd.
Randalls #31 (later 1031 post-Safeway buyout) has been operating since 1984. It managed to survive several closing waves but faces an unknown future as Kroger has announced the purchase of Randalls' parent company Albertsons. The gas station in the parking lot was not original, it came in sometime around the late 1990s or early 2000s.
2825 1/2 61st Street
A Super 8 motel was built here in 2000 but brought along a Waffle House along for the ride.
McDonald's / 2912 61st Street
This McDonald's restaurant (b. 1986) was not spared the fate of destroying the mansard roof and renovated on the inside but it didn't stop them from some nice touches, like a large aquarium (probably pre-dated the remodel).
352 Gulf Fwy. N.
Located just a mile south of where Fry's Electronics was in our "Other Houston Roads - Outer Loop" page, from about 2003 to 2014, this was Sudie's Catfish & Seafood House, closing mostly due to a family illness on the owner's part but also the declining popularity of the restaurant, which was quite popular in the mid-2000s. Bubba's Shrimp Palace operated here from 2015 to 2017.
200 Gulf Freeway
Part of a larger shopping center, this Kroger store opened in 1984 and later expanded and remodeled into a "Kroger Signature" store; however, it relocated to the corner of League City Parkway & Hobbs Road in late 2016.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store / 231 Gulf Freeway S.
The Cracker Barrel restaurant has been here since 1994.
U-Haul Moving & Storage / 351 Gulf Freeway S.
This was opened in December 2000.
Cabela's / 2421 Gulf Freeway South
The first Cabela's store in the Houston area. This 72,000 square feet hunting, fishing, and outdoors shop opened in February 2016.
2502 Gulf Freeway South
From fall 2016 to spring 2022, Tight Ends Sports Bar & Grill, A "breastaurant" that opened in fall 2016 with skimpily dressed waitresses (especially on the lower half) replaced this Quaker Steak & Lube that operated from 2013 to 2016. Galveston-based The Spot is scheduled to replace it.
My Eyelab 3170 Gulf Freeway South
This was one of a handful of new Pollo Tropical outlets in the Houston area and operated from summer 2015 to late 2016 (closing before the rest of the stores in the Houston stores), and is now an optical shop like the Pearland restaurant is (since 2019).
Heartbreakers / 3200 Gulf Freeway
This large strip club originally opened in 1986 and was purchased by RCI in 2022. Around Dickinson, the "Gulf Freeway South" designation is dropped and simply becomes Gulf Freeway, though continues the numbering system.
Nearby, a billboard for Abundant Life Christian Church has advertised "Jesus Heals the Broken-Hearted", no doubt related to Heartbreakers' name and business operations.
Rancho's Taqueria / 3300 Gulf Freeway
This opened in early 2020. From 1987 to 2017 it was a Whataburger (24 hours of course) and, as Wikimapia noted for many years, "conveniently located within stumbling distance of the strip club".
Kroger / 3410 Gulf Freeway
This Kroger opened in 1980 with an adjacent Walgreens at 3400 Gulf Freeway. In the early 2000s the now-closed Walgreens was incorporated into Kroger as it expanded into a Signature store, taking it from 33,000 square feet to 56,000 square feet (see this page, third from the left).
3820 Gulf Freeway
Back when Wal-Mart stores were had blue exteriors almost universally, whether renovated in the 1990s or replaced by Supercenter stores, there were older stores that I called "brown Wal-Marts". These were of an older prototype that had closed prior to the remodeling/replacement sweep in the late 1990s. Most of them were re-tenanted eventually, and by the late 2000s they had all but disappeared.
There was one, however, that I had missed. The building at 3820 Gulf Freeway had operated as a Wal-Mart (#570) from 1984 to 1991, and interestingly was not relocated but simply closed. After a short stint as Bud's Discount City, it was re-tenanted without a repaint by Sussan, a furniture company based out of Texas City without so much as a repaint or facade change. Sussan, also known as Sussan Fine Furniture had occupied the former Wal-Mart since early 1997 (relocating from Texas City). In late 2010 Sussan announced it was going out of business and concluded its liquidation by February 2011.
By the time I finally noticed it in spring 2012, Sussan had closed for almost a full year, though the signage remained up. The building was flooded out in Hurricane Harvey (October 2017 shows mounds of something outside the store, but I can't tell what) and was flattened soon after.
The other thing about the Wal-Mart was that access looked horrific. It had a single in/out point onto the frontage road, an entrance onto a side street, the back entrance onto Medical Park Drive, and a long alley from FM 517...that was it!
Bay Area Raceway / 3825 Gulf Freeway
This arcade center also features a quarter-mile go-kart track. In 2018 the track was rebuilt. The new track is much twistier than the old track (which ran closer to Dickinson Bayou).
Buc-ee's / 6201 Gulf Freeway
Opened May 7, 2014, and like most Buc-ee's, their merchandise mix includes things you would do outdoors in the local area, so in this case, it's boating and fishing. Other than that, it's an almost identical mix to their other large stores, including the layout (restrooms straight back, drinks to the right of that, deli to the left of that).
Somewhere to the south of this point, Gulf Freeway's address resets again going north from the bridge over Galveston. About where Emmett F. Lowry Expressway splits off, the addresses on the right are based from the reset going north from the bridge over Galveston, while the addresses on the left are based on the addressing from Main Street in League City.
Sam's Club / 6614 Gulf Freeway
Sam's Club #8190 opened here in 2013 when it moved from the Mainland Crossing shopping center (Walmart had moved from there almost a decade earlier).
Starbucks / 2024 Gulf Freeway
This Starbucks coffee shop opened on the site of a long-closed gas station in September 2021. The address seems to be out of order with everything else.
Americas Best Value Inn & Suites / 5201 Gulf Freeway
I briefly mentioned this hotel on my Mall of the Mainland story.
One of the things you should know about Gulf Freeway, is there is one Gulf Freeway (I-45 southeast of Downtown Houston) but at least three numbering systems, one of them starting from downtown, and one with the numbering re-setting at Clear Creek at the Harris/Galveston county line. In searching for archives, 5201 Gulf Freeway did exist in 1973...a car dealership at the Telephone Road exit. But the story of our hotel goes back to early 1983 with the opening of the 160-room Holiday Inn La Marque/Texas City.
In the fall of 1998, it lost the Holiday Inn name, becoming simply "La Marque Inn" before transitioning to a Ramada Inn a few months later (though tax records indicate this was actually a La Quinta). But even the Ramada Inn name wasn't to last-- as of early 2006, it was "The Grand Hotel" with "Grand Slam Sports Bar".
Like I mentioned previously, it was a Travelodge in August 2008, and had been so since 2007, with the current restaurant called "RJ's Sports Bar". The Travelodge was converted into the Americas Best Value Inn in late 2010. RJ's stayed open through 2013 and has since become "Jimmy's Bar & Grill" (which has since closed).
Kelley's Country Cookin' / 4604 Gulf Freeway
This restaurant has some other locations in the south/southeast Houston area and has been at this location since 1988. I could not confirm or deny the restaurant being 24 hours pre-2020 (it definitely isn't now).
McDonald's / 2300 Gulf Freeway
Built in 1995 and despite some mid-2000s updates (downplaying the red mansard roof, for starters), the McDonald's here got turned into rubble in 2021 for their new prototype.
8910 Seawall Boulevard
This strip center has a gas station added around 2012. From 2001 to 2004, Athena's Grill was in suite D, which I remember being signed as "Athena's Burgers & Donuts". As of 2022 the tourist-oriented shopping strip contains Seawall Groceries (attached to the Valero), Keg Stand Liquor Store (B), Lone Star Flags & Flagpoles (B1), Lone Star Heroes Comics & Toys (C), Kites Unlimited (suite D), and "Viet Cajun" Seafood & Pho House.
Walmart / 6702 Seawall Boulevard
This Walmart (#504) opened in March 1995 as "Wal-Mart Supercenter", replacing the store at 2711 61st Street in Galveston.
The Victorian / 6300 Seawall Blvd.
The Victorian was built in the early 1980s as a hybrid hotel/conference center and condominium complex. In the mid-2010s, they closed the hotel portion (and an attached restaurant, last operating as Seawall Bistro) and converted it to condominiums.
As an aside, this is where I stayed in 2005 on a trip to Galveston (father had a conference at the hotel). The hotel suite where I stayed in is no more, obviously, though I'm not sure if the suites were converted into small condos, or if they were renovated more extensively.
Kroger / 5730 Seawall Blvd.
This opened in 2000 as "Kroger Signature" (store #HP-302) but eventually dropped the Signature name, and ultimately adopted Kroger's new 2019 logo. Around 2011 a new fuel station was built on the store property.
Holiday Inn Resort / 5002 Seawall Blvd.
"Holiday Inn Resort Galveston - On the Beach" opened in the early 1980s as a Holiday Inn, and in 2001 had B. Jigger's nightclub (which is still there) and a Black-eyed Pea restaurant. Since at least 2008 this has been "The Jetty Restaurant". By 2011, the hotel had received a rebranding of "Holiday Inn Resort", the new sub-brand that functionally replaced Holiday Inn's older brand, Holiday Inn SunSpree Resorts (which had a location down Seawall that co-existed with this hotel for a few years, no doubt confusing people).
Academy Sports + Outdoors / 4523 Fort Crockett Blvd.
This isn't a Seawall Boulevard address but the parking lot connects to it and the building faces westbound Seawall. It is an Academy store that moved here in 2002, but operated as a Kroger from 1975 to 2000, before it moved.
1702 Seawall Boulevard
1702 Seawall actually describes two businesses. The first one is the large hotel that sits on the block. It originally opened as a Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in 2005, this became Galveston Beach Hotel some in 2014 during its renovation into a DoubleTree by Hilton. The new Doubletree By Hilton Hotel - Galveston Beach, officially opened February 2015. The original construction demolished a few Seawall Boulevard businesses, the eastern terminus block of Avenue O 1/2, and the houses along it. The older building that shares the 1702 Seawall Boulevard is currently vacant--this was Salt Water Shop (surf shop and bike rentals) until the mid-2010s, until it moved to the space next door.
Seawall Church / 1320 Seawall Blvd.
This church moved in around 2021 and was formerly Hi-5, a surf shop/gift shop that operated from 1999 to around 2017 and became a church in 2021. (It also appeared that there was additional retail spot above Hi-5).
The vacant space next door was 1328 Seawall Blvd., which served as Kettle Pancake House #68 from 1974 to around 1996. Korky's Beach Grill was here from 1997 to January 2000, and another restaurant called Bob Walker's Country Cafe took up residence for less than two years. There's a few other restaurants that filed here, including Kelly's on the Seawall and Hurricane Cafe, but if they ever opened they lasted a matter of months. In the late 2010s it was finally torn down.
The Anchor / 1228 Seawall Boulevard
The latest restaurant in this beachside dining spot opened in February 2023. Previously it was Texadelphia (October 2018 to sometime in late 2022), Ocean Grille & Beach Bar (spring 2015 to December 2016), Capital Q BBQ (2009-2013), Nate's Steakhouse (1994-2007), and Russo's Italian Restaurant (1979-1994). The restaurant is ten years older than Russo's, though.