- Other Temple-Killeen Roads
Other Temple-Killeen Roads

Unless I'm cutting through to Belton or Killeen more directly, Loop 363 is the "introduction" to Temple, and I've always kind of liked it. Maybe it was because it was associated with road trips, maybe because it bore a passing resemblance to the way College Station used to be (including an extant Mazzio's that lasted for well over a decade after the College Station store closed), maybe it was because it acted as an extension of Waco (the greater area is sometimes referred to "Waco-Temple-Killeen"), and I like Waco too.

Today, most of SW HK Dodgen Loop is a modern freeway with frontage roads, exits, shoulders (inner and outer), overhead signs, and concrete barriers, far better than the dowdier Earl Rudder Freeway. Until around the late 2000s, this wasn't the case, as the highway was hardly a freeway at all, with crossovers between the mainlanes, outdated exit geometry (if it even had exits at all), and poor lighting. This section covers 363 between I-35 and the South 5th Street overpass. Odd numbered buildings are on the south side of the freeway, even numbers on the north.

Going south, 363 turns into TX-95, which intersects 290 in Elgin (the 95 designation jogs east along 290 before going south again), while to the east, eventually intersects with US-79 in Milano.

As this is now designated as an "Other" Roads page as of Version 6.0, Cactus Jack's now has its own dedicated entry (split off from Saigon Cafe). New additions include South 57th Street (7-Eleven and Eagle Ridge Builders), Emporium Spice, Tractor Supply Company (both SE HK Dodgen Loop, same road as what we had before just farther out), Texas Thrift (former Randalls), Wendy's, Taqueria Mexicano Restaurant & Grill, as well the new Interstate 14 in Temple section. This includes Black Bear Diner (former Twin Peaks), Yank Sing Chinese Restaurant (former Luby's...where something awful happened), Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply (former Gander Mountain), 902 W. Central Texas Expy. (former Albertsons), 1101 South Fort Hood Street (former Kmart!). Updated entries (other than the split from Saigon Cafe) include 1902 SW H K Dodgen Loop, Kohl's (I've been informed of a Woolco there...), and Baylor Scott & White Clinic - Temple South Loop.


Black Bear Diner / 401 W. Central Texas Expy.
The building where Black Bear Diner is started out as Twin Peaks back in 2014. In September 2015 it closed due to a corporate decision when the franchise was revoked due to the 2015 Waco shootout incident From 2016 to 2019 it served as a restaurant known as Richard Rawlings' Garage (a single location concept). From my experience curating these pages, restaurants backed by celebrities, in this case television personality Richard Rawlings, have a high failure rate. In December 2022, Black Bear Diner opened after renovating the facility.

Yank Sing Chinese Restaurant / 1705 East Central Texas Expressway
This building has a history behind it. In December 1989, a Luby's Cafeteria opened. Less than two years later, on October 16, 1991, a local man named George Hennard drove his vehicle through the front of the restaurant, stepped out of his car, and opened fire on the restaurant's patrons, killing 23 people and wounding many more. It was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States at the time.

Despite the stigma of the shooting, the restaurant reopened in March 1992. According to Funding Universe, "hundreds of people, including some of the survivors, came to the cafeteria to eat freshly-prepared jalapeño cornbread, pan-grilled catfish, and Jefferson Davis pie".

In late 2000, the restaurant closed for reasons unknown. It remained closed for five years until Yank Sing opened in late 2005, and with the closure of Yank Sing's Temple location (located in an old Olive Garden), is the only one left.

Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply / 701 E. Central Texas Expy.
This was built as Gander Mountain in early 2015 and closed about two years later when the chain declared bankruptcy. After serving as an "overstock furniture" store for a while, it became the first location of Murdoch's Ranch & Home Supply in Texas.

902 W. Central Texas Expressway
This building was originally Albertsons (#4225) from 1995 to May 2002, when it got wiped out with the spring 2002 closures that swept the chain (the Temple, Waco, and Austin stores all soldiered under the Dallas-Fort Worth division). In 2005, Gold's Gym filled in part of the building.

1101 South Fort Hood Street
The main anchor of Wendland Plaza, this former Kmart (#3475) opened in November 1978 and remarkably still stayed open all the way until early 2017, well over a decade after Kmart pulled out of Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, and other smaller markets. In the last decade of its life it "de-branded" from Big Kmart to a regular Kmart, but using the 1990 logo.

By 2018 it was redeveloped into several new tenants. From south to north, Lumber Liquidators, Dollar Tree, Crunch Fitness, and Conn's HomePlus.


Interstate 35 east of the highway was recently widened and depressed as part of a major I-35 rebuild. See our I-35 page here, but the intersection was reconstructed at this point with Loop 363's expansion several years earlier.

Jack in the Box / 3608 SW H K Dodgen Loop
Jack in the Box was originally at 3606 until the highway was widened to be a full freeway in this section, and the original had to be demolished. The current restaurant was built in 2006.

Bob Mills Furniture / 2100 S. 61st Street
This former Lubbock-based Lacks Furniture (closed at the end of 2010) reopened as Bob Mills in spring 2012.

McAlister's Deli / 2416 S.W. H.K. Dodgen Loop
A former Fazoli's that operated roughly from 2003 to 2014. It sits in the parking of Temple Towne Center, see the PDF here. McAlister's moved here in early 2021 from the shopping center.

Baylor Scott & White Clinic - Temple South Loop / 2601 Thornton Lane
This BS&W Clinic still has (according to their website and the latest Google Street View) the old Scott & White logo and branding, but it was as Wal-Mart from 1984 to 1991, when it relocated to 3401 S. 31st Street (which has since been expanded into a Supercenter). Before Wal-Mart, it was a Gibson's discount store from 1968 to around 1983 when the chain collapsed.

Scott & White has been here since the mid-1990s. It has a Thornton Lane address due to the fact that the road once continued east as the main frontage road.

Smile Doctors Braces / 2113 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This dental office is in a former Golden Corral, operated roughly from 1995 to 2011 (appears to be a gap before the new Golden Corral was built in 2013 on I-35). Royal Buffet (Chinese buffet) operated from 2013 to 2014 with some modificiations to the entrances, but by April 2015 it was Central Texas Smile Doctors (rebranded to its current name between 2018 and 2019).

1902 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This restaurant opened as an Olive Garden around 1991 and closed in 2002, with the replacement, Yank Sing Chinese Restaurant, opening soon after. It resembles its sister restaurant in Killeen (a former Luby's where 23 people were killed in a 1993 shooting) due to its addition of a covered drive-up, but has since closed--the last Yelp review was January 2019. The Killeen location remains open.

Applebee's / 1808 SW H K Dodgen Loop
Applebee's has been a fixture of HK Dodgen Loop since 1993.

Monterey's Little Mexico / 1712 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This opened as Monterey House, later converted to Monterey's Tex-Mex Cafe and ultimately Monterey's Little Mexico.

Taqueria Mexicano Restaurant & Grill / 1704 SW H K Dodgen Loop
Also known as Taqueria Mexicano Grille #2, this restaurant has been here since 2001. Previous restaurants on record include Leo's Coffee Cafe (2000-2001), Keith's R-B Shack (1998), Flashback Barbecue (1996-1998), and Vittlesticks (1994-1995).

Meeboon Thai Cuisine / 1521 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This restaurant has been here since November 2021 (former food truck) but the site suffers from access problems, with no entrance from either the "MarketPlace" shopping center's parking lot, nor Market Loop. The most recent restaurant here, Rice Etc. Asian Kitchen, operated from 2013 to 2021. Other former restaurants here include New Baytown Seafood Express (2007-2013) and Popeyes (1995 to roughly 2006).

Denny's / 1420 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This former Mazzio's maintained their old 1980s logo into the late 2000s. A Facebook question asks why it closed so abruptly, and that's dated to November 2013. Another restaurant, Bay Street Steak & Grille, opened here in November 2018 but closed by the next summer. The new Denny's opened in fall 2020 and is the first in Temple since the one off I-35 (the old Kettle) closed. (See the I-35 page for that one).

Kohl's / 3170 S. 31st Street
One of the main anchors of the "MarketPlace" shopping center (the other being an H-E-B), this Kohl's started out as a Woolco in 1980 (moving from a different location on I-35), then a Montgomery Ward from 1983 to the end of the chain's life (early 2001) but remained with signage up a few years afterward. The Kohl's opened in September 2011 according to this article. As Montgomery Ward, its address was 3002A S. 31st Street.

Whataburger / 1415 SW H K Dodgen Loop
I remember stopping at this Whataburger sometime in late 2016 or early 2017 after a day of outside work at a ranch. While the cold drink and the protein of the hamburger revived my spirits, I was intrigued by the large, "Playplace" part of the building, as if it had a playground at one point. The room was closed to the public (it was used as employee offices/storage, apparently) and while the thought of Whataburger having a playground wasn't out of the question (I seem to recall a kid's meal mascot, for instance) it hadn't actually occurred to me that it was in fact not a Whataburger to begin with, having been a Burger King opened in 1999 but closed within a decade. It was seized by U.S. Marshals in November 2004 (it did not reopen) and in November 2007 was reopened as a Whataburger. Before Whataburger was built, a Pizza Hut was here from 1991 to 1997.

Wendy's / 1348 SW H.K. Dodgen Loop
This Wendy's was built in 2006 as part of a redevelopment of the block.

Starbucks / 1313 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This Starbucks was opened as a Golden Chick (Golden Fried Chicken) in 1999 and became Starbucks Coffee in April 2004 (probably closing as Golden Chick in late 2003).

Taco Bell / 1201 SW H K Dodgen Loop
The Taco Bell here changed its store number (2308) and address (3002 South 31st Street, the number of the whole plaza) in 2014 to the Dodgen Loop address and a new store number (30125) without rebuilding. Despite looking nothing like the original 1983 store, BCAD indicates the building is original to 1983 (though it likely expanded if that was the case, and the building does tend to suggest that).

Temple Mall / 3111 S. 31st Street
I have yet to visit Temple Mall, and perhaps I'll make a full page on it someday. In the meantime, here is the Wikipedia page.

Lowe's / 605 S.W. HK Dodgen Loop
The Lowe's here opened in June 1996 and adjacent to its own named road, Lowes Drive, which actually goes into residential neighborhoods and has several houses off of it.

The Barrington / 401 S.W. H. K. Dodgen Loop
The Barrington Suites and Apartments (opened 1984) sounds like a winner in theory, with its close-to-Scott & White location for long-term (month) stays but reviews are mixed. It does not seem to really run with the idea of a motel/apartment hybrid, there's a shared pool but no on-site restaurant/coffee shop.

Red Roof Inn / 400 SW H K Dodgen Loop
This motel adopted this name between 2018 and 2019 (formerly Great Western Inn & Suites). At some point between 1995 and 2003, half of the lobby was torn down, probably due to a fire. It lacks access to the side street South 13th Street.

Sunny's / 321 SW HK Dodgen Loop
I'm not sure if it's related to the Sunny's convenience stores in Houston (in fact, I'm not sure if the Houston stores are related to each other) but this gas station, formerly a Mobil, converted to a generic gas station that basically resembles an ersatz Exxon with yellow instead of red, almost like a royalty-free version of more famous brands.

Saigon Cafe / 220 SW HK Dodgen Loop
This restaurant has been Saigon Cafe since 2010. Other restaurants here included Mulligan's Grill (1988-1989), Emperors of China (1992-1993), and Mr. Fajita's Buffet (1994-2004). In the early 2010s I visited it with my brother and father as Saigon Cafe. At the time I thought it was pretty good but otherwise I can't remember much of it, including what I actually ordered.

300 SW H.K. Dodgen Loop
Gather 'round for the tale of Cactus Jack's: built in 1976 as "Market Street Cafe", which it was until the around 2000s, Cactus Jack's Steak House opened in 2003 (from numerous records including BBB and state taxpayer records) by a woman named Donna Passentino (due to some references saying Passentino founded the restaurant in 2005, it's possible that Passentino bought it out). Before Passentino's death in 2011, the restaurant had a dinner menu with steaks and other entrees, but despite the restaurant attempting to carry on, by 2012 the restaurant dropped the food options and was simply a bar with no mention of food. (The "Steak House" remained on the signage). Signage outside mentioned looking for a new food partner to convert it to a Mexican restaurant, and in 2013, it became Cactus Jack's Sushi Bar & Japanese Restaurant (that was short lived), and became Cactus Jack's Sports Cantina in 2014. A few years after that, Brody's Steakhouse moved in (from a different location) as a restaurant-within-a-bar moved in, before the whole place burned to the ground in November 2019 from an improperly disposed cigarette, and there's video evidence to show for it. The general manager vowed to rebuild, though nothing has happened since.

The highway ends here, even though there's a stoplight at Veterans Memorial. It used to have ramps and flyovers, though in both directions, Loop 363 is effectively squeezed into one lane for the bypass part. At the southwest corner of the intersection is Everest Rehabilitation Hospital with an SE H K Dodgen Loop address.


Eagle Ridge Builders / 2219 South 57th Street
This was built as a 7-Eleven back circa 1961. At some point, some gas pumps were installed (by 2007 these were self-branded, but by 2011 these were removed). After the convenience store across the street was converted to a 7-Eleven, the store was shut down circa April 2013 (though there was a brief period where both operated). Later, D&L Unique Creations, also known as Unique Creations of Texas, operated here from 2016 to 2019. From what I could find, this mostly retailed in party supplies. By March 2021, the building was fully renovated as Eagle Ridge Builders.

7-Eleven / 2303 S. 57th Street
Built as a Quix in 2000 (and likely always with Mobil gas), this became a 7-Eleven in 2012. Interestingly, although Quix was later sold and rebranded to 7-Eleven, by 2011 it was a generic gas station food mart. After the gas station was converted (becoming a self-branded 7-Eleven), the older, stand-alone store closed after this one opened, but for a period of several months both stores operated.


Emporium Spice / 23208 SE H K Dodgen Loop
Also known as Emporium Packaging & Spice Co., this company moved here in the late 2010s. Previously the building served as a Tractor Supply Company from 1986 to 2013 (it moved out to a new location at 22515 SE H K Dodgen Loop. Emporium's previous location was 1104 S. 1st Street.

Tractor Supply Co. / 22515 SE H K Dodgen Loop
In 1977, Action World Bowl Center was built here on the edge of town (alt./original address 1401 E. Highway 36). Unfortunately in December 2007, a devastating fire caused structural damage to the facility, and the owner, having run it for thirty years, decided to simply take the insurance money and retire. By the end of 2008, the bowling alley was being prepped for demolition and leaving Temple without a bowling facility.

Tractor Supply Company opened on the site in mid-2013 with an entirely new parking lot.


Texas Thrift / 2200 E. Veterans Memorial Blvd.
Built as a Safeway and converted to AppleTree in 1989, In early 1994 it closed as AppleTree and reopened as Randalls a few weeks later; however, by the end of January 1997 Randalls was gone, and Hastings was open within months...until Hastings went out of business about twenty years later.

Since 2000, Family Dollar has also had a place at the building, though looks to be cut out from existing space rather than replacing, say, an Eckerd. Return to the Main Page | Email

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