Carbon-izer - The H-E-B Stores of Houston
The H-E-B Stores of Houston
This actually began as a second try at a dedicated H-E-B Pantry page. The original one was aborted when I was told Houston Historic Retail was doing the same thing and I ended up just ended up doing a page on the Pantry Pals instead.

But, the Pantry era led into the "full" store era with most of the stores receiving new H-E-B branding by around 2005 anyway. This page attempts to cover every H-E-B store in and around Houston, though not on the first go-around.

Rather than re-treading the same ground of HHR, I wanted to re-focus on the Houston-area stores specifically and the adjacent suburbs, so nothing in College Station, Beaumont, etc., nor Galveston's either. Most of these have been previously covered on the website, plus a few more (though a few were not included in this initial version). The criteria for the first version of this page focused on if I've previously covered the store on the site, personally visited it, or interested enough to dig up more information, and Version 2.0 of the page will cover additional stores (and probably add pictures, too!).

H-E-B PANTRY STORES (1992-2000)

130 Sawdust Road (303)
Safeway #968 opened here in Spring/The Woodlands in April 1980 (facing south toward Sawdust) but closed in June 1987 before the division was spun off and renamed as AppleTree. In the same building, an Eckerd operated adjacent to the store.

In 1992, H-E-B Pantry Foods (#303) opened to replace the former Safeway. By the late 1990s, Peter Piper Pizza had replaced Eckerd, and in 2003 the entire building (along with a Grandy's at 140 Sawdust Road), was torn down for a new store that had the same Sawdust address, but faced east toward Interstate 45.

Originally seen on the Montgomery County page.

5815 Antoine Drive (309)
This location was a stand-alone store built as H-E-B Pantry Foods #309 in 1992. In 2003 the store closed. A few years later, it was expanded and reopened as "Harris County Annex 38", a government building with a variety of services and offices inside. (HHR mentions it was "expanded prior to closing", but this is incorrect, it expanded AFTER closing).

Originally seen on the Other Houston Roads - Outer Loop page.

5417 South Braeswood Boulevard (322)
This was covered on Houston Historic Retail, covering the latest incarnation (which actually never was used).

I recommend you check out the link (describing the full history of the store), though I will say that it was relatively untouched from 1992 up until 2016 with the "Tax Day Floods", upon which it was renovated and reopened, THEN closed for good after Hurricane Harvey.

11940 Westheimer Road (330)
The main anchor of Kirkwood Shopping Center has been a variety of grocery stores over the years. In late 1979 it opened as a location of Continental Finer Foods. Between 1981 and 1982 it changed hands to Westheimer Minimax, later Kingmart Minimax, and in May 1984, became Jumbo, another local Houston supermarket. Jumbo was still there in 1988, and after a brief stay as Sak-N-Sav, opened as H-E-B Pantry Foods in June 1993 and closed in December 2001 with the opening of a full H-E-B at 11815 Westheimer Road. In late 2002 it became Oshman's SuperSports USA (later rebranded to Sports Authority) until around 2012. In 2013 it was announced it would be Sprouts Farmers Market. In spring of 2023, after less than a decade, Sprouts exited the space along with two others in the Houston area.

Originally seen on the West Houston page.

301 West 11th Street (331)
This store opened in 1947 as Laufman's Cash Market, part of the "Lucky 7" grocers co-op at around 2,000 square feet. By the early 1960s, the store, now known as Laufman's Food and Home Center (and separated from Lucky 7), had completed a massive expansion. The parking lot was expanded to be accessible to Rutland Street (the store's position at the southeast corner of the block suggests it was never rebuilt) and the store brought up to around 10,000 square feet, and in the late 1960s expanded the store to 19,000 square feet. In the early 1980s, the store, by this time Laufman's Home Center, closed. Moore's Foods reopened the space in 1984 and was one of three stores in the chain (besides Rosenberg, they also had a store at the former Weingarten at West 34th Street and Northwest Freeway.

In 1990, the store was rebranded as Costa's Market and Deli, only for that to close in 1992 for an H-E-B Pantry to begin construction. H-E-B expanded the store one last time--to 25,000 square feet and opened it in 1993 before closing it in 2004 without replacement.

You could see how the store was expanded over the years from the aerial, with the original outline of the 1947 store still visible, but a few years later it was demolished for Regions Bank.

5130 Cedar Street (352)
The Bellaire H-E-B Pantry was another one of the stores that took over for an older grocery store that opened years before. It opened, initially, as an A&P. The The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company did in fact have a brief stay in Houston though was one of the markets purged in the 1970s as the chain began to suffer. By 1972, the Houston stores had been converted to the WEO concept sweeping the chain but around 1973 the chain left Houston, and the location was picked up by Gerland's Food Fair soon after. This closed in 1979 and Academy opened in 1982. In 1993 H-E-B purchased the site, and Academy would close in the summer of that year. H-E-B Pantry Foods opened a 27k square foot store in April 1994. By the mid-2010s H-E-B's parent company announced the store (now known as simply H-E-B) would be replaced with a two-story location, and in 2016 the strip center was slowly cleared out for construction. See 5106 Bissonnet Street in the full H-E-B section. I personally visited this store and while it wasn't the same as the H-E-B Pantry back home that was long-defunct, it did have nearby a hanging blinking four-way red light that was dismantled in 2019 at Cedar and 5th. This was the way, back home, how Holleman and Glade was arranged for many years (which, coincidentally, was also a few blocks from my hometown H-E-B Pantry store).

1511 West 18th Street (435)
One of the things about this former H-E-B Pantry Foods/H-E-B store was that it was the only one to use the 1511 address...previous stores in the spot used 1513 as well as subsequent tenants.

This opened as Weingarten as the mid-1960s and later a second location of Studewood Food Market by 1972 and by 1980 was Food City (Davis Food City). This remained as such until the mid-1990s. When it opened as H-E-B Pantry in August 1997, it used the 1511 W. 18th Street address, which was previously used for the adjacent in-line tenant of the strip center.

After closing in January 2019 for its replacement tenant at 2300 North Shepherd, the entire store basically got knocked down for a 24 Hour Fitness, which restored the 1513 address.

6960 Barker Cypress Road (456)
This store opened in fall 1998 as a concept H-E-B Pantry (featuring a drive-through deli, "The Roost") and rebranded to H-E-B in the early 2000s (adding a fuel station at one point) before closing (it appears there was a period of about a year before a new store opened at 24224 Northwest Freeway). It sat vacant for over a decade before Planet Fitness moved in (and I'm not sure Planet Fitness even occupies all of the space). At some point an H-E-B Fuel station was built (after the store's opening), this was demolished when the store closed.

Originally seen on the West Houston page.

7994 Bellfort Street (460)
This stand-alone H-E-B Pantry Foods opened in May 1999 and operated until May 2002 when it was replaced with the H-E-B at Gulfgate. In November 2003, Northern Tool & Equipment (stylized as Northern Tool + Equipment) moved into the vacant building and has been there since.

Originally seen on the Other Houston Roads - Outer Loop page.

14540 Memorial Drive (471)
This opened as a Safeway September 1, 1970 and shuttered in 1986, with Drug Emporium opening March 29, 1989. In February 2000 it opened as the very last H-E-B Pantry Foods. It was 28,000 square feet but featured a full deli counter, along with seafood and a bakery, which H-E-B Pantry stores did not typically do. Within a few years it was rebranded as H-E-B, though in 2018 closed down to become a delivery distribution center.

Originally seen on the West Houston page.


2660 Fountain View Drive
This store, rather modest by new-build H-E-B store standards at around 50,000 square feet, was the first "full-line" store in Houston, heralding an end to the "H-E-B Pantry Foods" era. It opened in January 2001 and closed in February 2015 in favor of the new Fountainview store less than two miles to the north (and it was nearly twice as large). H-E-B kept the store a dark store for years (not that the facade, both somewhat dated and tacky-looking did it any favors). It eventually renovated and reopened as California-based furniture store Living Spaces June 30, 2023.

Originally seen on the Other Houston Roads - Outer Loop page.

16811 El Camino Real
I have pictures of this store myself but the best source right now is Houston Historic Retail's stuff. This store opened as Albertsons #2732 in October 1996 and closed in spring 2002. After some renovations it reopened in October 2002 but it was a good example of a classic "H-E-Bertsons" layout.

10251 Kempwood Drive
When I lived in Spring Branch, I decided to check out this H-E-B store as it was the only other one beyond the super-crowded, super-packed Bunker Hill store. It's a lousy store that reminds me a bit of a dirty independent grocer. (Might as well go to Sellers Bros., which was closer, but had higher center-store prices). Houston Historic Retail, describing its past as an Albertsons, and the current condition of the store, which originally opened in 2003. Even in 2016, I was genuinely surprised it had a sushi bar.

I do remember on clearance they had a bag of jalapeño peanut brittle for less than a dollar, that was kind of cool, I guess...

24224 Northwest Freeway
A mega-popular H-E-B supermarket that opened in 2007, which appears that did not replace the Barker Cypress Pantry several miles away. It has a gas station outlot.

Originally seen on the Northwest Freeway - Outer Loop page.

2805 Business Center Drive
Hosting a grand opening November 7, 2007, the Pearland store (west Pearland area) is one of the few (only?) stores in the Houston area branded as "H-E-B plus!". Originally, this had more general merchandise with a larger footprint but as H-E-B has remerchandised and expanded its default store size this matters less and less. There's a blank spot next to the drive-through for the pharmacy; the Kyle store (which opened a few months earlier and has a near-identical layout) has a garden center in that spot.

Two things I remember about this store is that there used to be a whole back aisle that let you go from the area from the milk and eggs were, back to the cosmetics and pharmacy section, but by 2016 there were gates blocking these access points off. Some of the more "modern" H-E-B designs just put up a shelf and route you down the baby aisle (the Jones Crossing H-E-B in College Station was built this way as is the current 2023 incarnation of Kyle's H-E-B Plus). I wouldn't be surprised if the Pearland store has this, too.

Another thing to note was that for a while it had an outlet of Houston Greek restaurant Niko Niko's inside, but it didn't have much in the way of cooking fresh food. (It operated from 2014 to 2017), and Yelp reviews weren't especially positive.

9710 Katy Freeway (109)
The anchor of the massive Village Plaza at Bunker Hill, this 128,000 square feet H-E-B opened in November 2008 (a renovation in 2014 added a small addition to the southwest corner). The Bunker Hill store includes/included an in-store restaurant (I'm not sure if it's still there). Unfortunately, the large size doesn't necessarily equate to larger selection, with the produce/perishable area featuring extra space for the large crowds that are there all the time, with the "less-crowded" days not requiring law enforcement to direct traffic.

The Bunker Hill H-E-B (Houston 54) is one of the chain's flagship stores and helps cause its vastly overrated reputation (we can't ALL be special). The store has some exterior-accessed stores between the two entrances (as of March 2022, these include Fresco (a frozen yogurt shop) and Nails & Spa of Bunker Hill. Signage mentions inside the store, First Community Credit Union (this has exterior signage but I don't believe any exterior entrances), Solomon Fine Jewelry, and Renewal by Anderson (window replacement--odd choice for grocery sub-leasing).

Originally seen on the Katy Freeway page.

5225 Buffalo Speedway
This H-E-B opened in 2009 and replaced two lots--a strip center and the first Luby's Cafeteria (opened as Romana Cafeteria originally) in Houston at 5215 Buffalo Speedway. There's also a HAIF post here.

1701 West Alabama Street (630)
Montrose briefly had an H-E-B Pantry in the late 1990s (the closest to the downtown), which we'll cover on a later update. The "real" Montrose H-E-B opened in November 2011 on the site of Wilshire Village apartments (1940-2009). The store includes an outdoor patio to consume alcohol drinks, though due to issues with the liquor license, the whole beer/wine area was roped off when it opened and remained that way for the first month.

The exterior was notable and won some awards, but the inside is just the typical warehouse H-E-B (with additional skylights). I have personally visited this store, I wasn't really impressed (and that was when I liked H-E-B much better than I do now).

H-E-B / 28550 U.S. 290
H-E-B opened here in 2012 with a new shopping center (H-E-B was retroactively incorporated into it afterward) opening several years later with a full strip center, featuring Burlington, Kohl's, a movie theater, Academy, and a number of smaller stores and restaurants. The large, 100,000 square foot H-E-B opened in fall 2012. This is not only big for an H-E-B store but big for a supermarket in general. It was originally supposed to be closer to the Grand Parkway, and originally also finished H-E-B's food-by-the-pound deli, Cafe on the Run.

Originally seen on the Northwest Freeway - Outer Loop page.

5106 Bissonnet Street
Replacing the 5130 Cedar H-E-B Pantry, this store opened in June 2018. Like most of its stores, H-E-B stores are never to write home about. It was two-level but this makes it more cumbersome to navigate.

2300 North Shepherd Drive
This replaced a closed-down Fiesta. The H-E-B is two levels and opened January 30, 2019, with its parking garage abutting the street. Most of the store is on the second level built above the parking garage, with the first floor featuring the pharmacy and escalators/elevators going up to the upper level.

Originally, this was Food Giant, a local supermarket (#7 according to sevfiv from Arch-ive) was located here starting in 1966, with a 56,000 square feet store and an extensive non-food selection, ads have included needing someone for a jewelry department, and other ads have shown items like lawnmowers, box fans, small kitchen appliances, baby cribs, a portable typewriter, and others.

In February 1975, Fiesta opened in the space, with when Food Giant closed being lost to time. For the next forty years, Fiesta operated in the space, making a minor facade change by the end of the 1980s (and slightly expanding the building). An interesting thing to note was that Fiesta operated in the Heights dry zone, and did not sell beer or wine. In March 2016 it closed, and the H-E-B began construction within a year, beginning with the demolition of the site.

Originally seen on the Shepherd Drive page.

Return to the Main Page | Email
Copyright 2023, this site is not affiliated with any businesses listed here.

[Return to Uptown Houston page]