Carbon-izer Presents Uptown Houston - Loop 610
Loop 610
This page follows 610 clockwise, that is, following the exit numbers, and only covers about a fourth of the loop, from I-69 to North Shepherd Drive. I had to cut down on the number of entries here for various reasons, but here it is, linking several other pages together.

SOUTHWEST FREEWAY to WESTHEIMER ROAD

5005 Richmond Avenue
This former Chick-fil-A (closed due to ROW issues) has gotten a dedicated page at this very site a while back, in the "Marie Callender's" update. Before it was Chick-fil-A (which I ate at in November 2016), before it was Marie Callender's (which was torn down for aforementioned Chick-fil-A), it was an apartment complex before it was redeveloped with the Best Buy.

Post at Afton Oaks / 3131 West Loop South
Based on Google Earth, this modern apartment building looks like it was completed in very late 2016. The hotel that was here was demolished here was demolished in spring 2014, and had a long history. It was originally a Holiday Inn ("Holiday Inn West Loop" to differentiate from other Houston Holiday Inn hotels) from the late 1960s up until 1995, when it was converted to The Courtyard by Marriott ("Courtyard Marriott Galleria") in the fall of that year.

During 2006 it converted back to a Holiday Inn ("Holiday Inn Near the Galleria"), before being reflagged in 2011 as Hotel 31, which maybe lasted for a year before it closed the doors on the hotel for good.

Velvet Taco / 2626 West Loop South
Located in the parking lot area of Joske's (later Dillard's) and built as a Roy Rogers Roast Beef around 1969, this restaurant survived the bankruptcy of its original franchisee, Ram-Hart Systems, but not for long, and it closed sometime in the 1970s. According to forums, it became Charlie's Hamburgers and later still, after a period of vacancy, it became Houston 420, a head shop, though a summer 2003 article refers to Houston 420 being a cyber café with no mention of its former use. I'm guessing this was a new business that moved in without bothering to change any signage.

Zone D'Erotica moved in during 2004 and for years, their location here was "celebrated" as an example of Houston's lack of zoning laws, but was an eyesore in what was real estate-wise an upscale area (the increasing homeless population milling around the area didn't help). In June 2019 it closed.
Velvet Taco opened in January 2021. Architecturally the building was restored closer to what it originally was, but Velvet Taco added garish colors like bright pink columns and green walls. Westheimer Road to Katy Freeway You can find the Westheimer Road page here, heading west (no east page, yet), with 60 entries out to Beltway 8.

Royal Sonesta / 2222 West Loop South
Opened in 1984 as Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza (as the chain was known back then) and closed for an extensive renovation in the early 2000s for an InterContinental hotel (common ownership at the time), this has been Royal Sonesta Hotel since around 2012. Check out its page here, which contains a photo and map of the first level.

Jack in the Box / 4550 San Felipe Street
This Jack in the Box was opened around January 1997 and is open 24 hours a day, even when so many other establishments no longer are. (Drive-through only, though).

Ashley HomeStore / 4500 San Felipe Street
Circuit City #3233 opened in September 1996 and closed in early 2009 with the dissolution of the chain. Its replacement, Ashley Furniture HomeStore (as the chain was known back then) opened in summer 2010.

KATY FREEWAY to WEST 18TH STREET

You can see the Katy Freeway section which starts from the top of the page or the Northwest Freeway page, which will start at the bottom.

Houston Garden Centers / 1700 West Loop North This was Wolfe Nursery from 1988 to 1998, Houston Garden Centers purchased it in 1998 and still operates it to this day.

WEST 18TH STREET to NORTH SHEPHERD DRIVE

Sheraton Houston Broookhollow / 3000 North Loop West
This hotel was built around 1979 and assumed its current name in 1998. I previously wrote about this hotel here at The Houston Files.

Raising Cane's Chicken Fingers / 3007 Ella Boulevard
I'd love to cover the first half mile or so of Ella in detail in a future iteration but the Raising Cane's here, Raising Cane's #102, opened in June 2012. The past life of the lot is described in the next entry.

3011 Ella Boulevard 3011 Ella opened around 1964 as Sekai Ichi ("world's number one") with "Oriental modern" architecture. Later known as Ella Square, the apartments were torn down in December 2010 with the exception of one palm tree that stood between Carl's Jr. (opened 2012) and Raising Cane's (which opened at the same time). The palm tree's fate may have been met with those ice storms a few months ago (as of this writing, April 2021). Carl's Jr. closed around 2020.

Shell / 801 North Loop West
The old Shell station at 801 North Loop West dated back to 1975 and was torn down in 2018, remaining vacant for almost a year before construction on a new Shell station began in 2019 and opened later that year, anchored by a "Checkout" convenience store (the old station had a car servicing garage). It was a Texaco prior to a Shell (gaining the brand around 2003 as with other Texaco stations).

Taco Cabana / 700 North Loop West
One of the earliest Taco Cabana restaurants in Houston, opened by April of 1992 (not sure when it originally opened) but it was built as a Taco Cabana as opposed to a certain Houston-based knockoff sold to Taco Cabana later.

This section concludes, with a page going north and south on North Shepherd.


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