Carbon-izer - Other Houston Roads - Inner Loop
Other Houston Roads - Inner Loop
The inaugural version of the "Other Houston Roads - Inner Loop" page incorporates entries from what is now called Other Houston Roads - Outer Loop, including Southwest Freeway (13 entries), 4702 Richmond Avenue, South Shepherd Drive (six entries), and Shepherd Drive (five entries). Version 4.0 of this page (I'm starting it at Version 4 as it shares lineage with the old page) obviously splits off much of the old page but makes reference to Rice Village and the areas around it, though in the end does not cover any of Rice Village proper. New entries to this page include Heights House Hotel, Bissonnet Street (three entries), Kirby Drive (five entries), Who Made the Cake!, The Ion (former Sears), 4510 Main (former McDonald's), LifeStorage (former Albertsons), Target (former Randalls), CubeSmart Self Storage (former Black-eyed Pea), and Whataburger (former Herfy's). Updated entries include Sweetgreen (more history and some rewriting).


CubeSmart Self Storage / 4211 Bellaire Blvd.
In 1951, Howard Johnson's built a restaurant off of Bellaire Boulevard as part of a major push to expand the restaurant from 12 to 400. Eventually, with Howard Johnson's fortunes changing (and a transformation into a hotel chain), by the mid-1970s it was home to Tip Top Manufacturing & Supply Incorporated. Pet Lodge, a kenneling and grooming center, was open by 1976.

Pet Lodge's owner would found Special Pals at the site and by the mid-1980s Pet Lodge would close and Special Pals would take over the site entirely. After a second site was acquired in 1993 at 3830 Greenhouse Road, the facilities were merged in 1996 and the lot was redeveloped as Black-eyed Pea. Black-eyed Pea served a full uneventful 20 years in the spot. By the early 2010s this restaurant was the only Black-eyed Pea restaurant that remained inside the Loop, and in September 2016, the restaurant closed with the remaining Texas locations of the chain (leaving just a Dallas location). Soon after, the restaurant was demolished and the lot redeveloped again as a large CubeSmart self-storage location.


2132 Bissonnet Street
The first commercial operation here at the corner of Bissonnet and South Shepherd was a Tenneco service station that operated between 1968 and 1987. In 1987, it was rebuilt as a Circle K convenience store and gas station and became a Stop N Go in 1994 when Circle K exited the area and sold its stores to National Convenience Stores. Around 2002, it became Sunrise Grocery (the late 1990s and early 2000s almost certainly had the station with the Diamond Shamrock brand, it probably disappeared under Sunrise) which by 2008 had rebranded it as "4949 Convenience Store".

It closed in 2017 after a thirty-year run and before demolition, some ceiling-mounted wrecking balls did damage to the area as part of an art project...but actual reports left much to be desired--one comments in the blog linked above mentioned that "it was cringe worthy just watching the display try to muster up one out of control swing only to bounce helplessly off of the cardboard it was trying to destroy". The "real demo" was in December of that year.

The two-story building that stands here today features the restaurant Agnes, Platform Group (which developed the building, see link for more information), and Westlake Dermotology. There may be smaller tenants—Google mentions a nutritionists' office, Advice For Eating, LLC in suite 302.

Windsor at West University / 2630 Bissonnet Street
In 1950, Hudson Oil Company of Texas opened a gas station at Dincans Street and Bissonnet and by the late 1960s it was a small auto dealership ("Foreign Auto Brokers") before being redeveloped into apartments, though these did not seem to have a name when the complex opened in 1971 (Bissonnet Village was the name by 1972). The apartments were torn down at the end of 2012 and a new, multi-story apartment building replaced it. Initially named Hanover West University, the apartments changed management within a few years.

Cleburne Cafeteria / 3606 Bissonnet Street
3606 Bissonnet Street has been rebuilt twice over the years. The first incarnation, Carter's Lucky 7, was built sometime in the mid-1940s at 3606 Bissonnet Street (Lucky 7 being a grocers co-op) and the 5,400 square foot building later became Gerland's #4 before closing in early 1953. In 1958, the former grocery store was converted to a restaurant, Mexico City Restaurant, one of the earlier Mexican restaurants in Houston (probably closer to Tex-Mex than anything else), and in 1969 became the new home of Cleburne Cafeteria, which had been previously at 1018 Cleburne since 1942 (hence the name). In August 1990 the building was destroyed in a fire but was rebuilt and reopened in December 1990. Nearly 26 years later, in April 2016, a fire once again destroyed Cleburne Cafeteria. The restaurant rebuilt and reopened once more in November 2017.

I've mentioned Fearless Critics a few times on this site, but I found their review of Cleburne Cafeteria (which they hated) highly entertaining.


The Ion / 4201 Main Street
The Ion, main anchor to the so-called Ion District, opened in 2021. It was built as a Sears department store in 1939 (possibly opened 1940) and operated as such as until January 28, 2018 when Rice bought Sears' 99-year lease on the property. The Sears was much rougher than its mall-anchoring counterparts and its original Art Deco facade had long been covered with metal siding. The construction of the Ion added a third level to the structure (as Sears it had three floors, including a basement level).

4510 Main Street
With the recent passing of the notorious Midtown McDonald's, this restaurant was one of now THREE McDonald's restaurants on Main between Southwest Freeway and I-10 that have passed on. This McDonald's operated from about 1978 to 2005, when it was closed and demolished.

US Vets Midtown Terrace Suites / 4640 Main Street
This used to be a Holiday Inn built in the 1960s and spent most of the late 1990s as a Days Inn. Check out the dedicated page for this site here.


Christian's Tailgate / 5114 Kirby Drive
Jack in the Box relocated here from 6103 Kirby in 1986 and closed sometime around 1999. It was replaced by Amazón Grill in 2002 but it closed in September 2017 to make way for Christian's Tailgate, which opened in the following month. It was the last Amazón Grill location in Houston.

Einstein Bros. Bagels / 5300 Kirby Drive
This bagel-based eatery is in West University Place, not in Houston. It was built in 1964 as West University Conoco and closed around 1993. It reopened as this chain bagel shop in 1996, retaining most of the infrastructure.

5310 Kirby Drive
In 1966, a building was built by local businessman Jack Trottier for KLEF-FM and a "hi-fi kit shop". Home Entertainment Inc. moved in (formerly "Disc-Count House" in its old location). Based on their second location in Nassau Bay Shopping Center in 1967, it held not only records but televisions, stereo systems, and other electronics. While I can't find much on the radio station, by the mid-1980s Home Entertainment Inc. was focused on high-end stereo equipment with lines that most stores did not carry.

In 1999 it was purchased by Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, and by late 2003 HEI was rebranded as Tweeter. Unfortunately, Tweeter went under in 2008, and the building that once had a high-end electronics store for over forty years was vacant. Within a few years it had been divided into a Verizon store and the grammatically-incorrect "Baby's & Kid's 1st". By March 2020, Verizon, Black Swan Yoga (high-end yoga studio), and JuiceLand (a smoothie/fresh juice chain) were the three tenants in the building, though Verizon closed up in 2020.

River Oaks Plant House / 6103 Kirby Drive
The history of this location (which I best remember as Village Flowery, after all, it had that name for about 25 years) goes back to the mid-1960s when Tom Payne Typewriter Co. moved to 6125 Kirby from 6103 Kirby as by 1966 a new restaurant out of California that had begun fast expanding in California and the Southwest was built...Jack in the Box. Sometime around the mid-1980s the restaurant closed (relocating to 5114 Kirby Drive) and by 1989, Village Flowery was operating out of the space. It had common ownership with River Oaks Plant House, a garden center operating at 3401 Westheimer Road. For over the next twenty years the two garden centers operated in their respective parts of town. However, in late 2013, River Oaks Plant House got kicked out of its old location at 3401 Westheimer Road, and as a result, they simply rebranded Village Flowery to River Oaks Plant House (despite not being near River Oaks anymore).

Houston Natural Mattress / 6111 Kirby Drive
To many people, this was the long-time home of Wagner Hardware. When it began construction of a building fronting Kirby in May 1948, it already had been a known name moving from the Rice Village area, and after completing the building, continued to operate for the next 60 years. That all started to change in 2009, when it introduced a store-within-a-store for eco-friendly products called "New Living". Not too long after, the store changed hands and the store was remerchandised and rebranded to the "New Living" concept.

Most of the hardware lines were dropped for furniture and mattresses in addition to paint, and in 2014, New Living dismantled the old Wagner Hardware sign above the store. Between 2015 and 2017, New Living refocused from "sustainable design and furniture" to simply "organic mattresses". I'm not sure how the transition between New Living and Houston Natural Mattress (the similar replacement tenant) occurred, but it happened between October 2019 and March 2020. They seem to have different phone numbers.


Note: A lot of this I had written for a "Westheimer/Shepherd" page that was never released. Also see the main Westheimer page.

Windsor Shepherd Apartments / 611 Shepherd Drive
From 2004 to 2015 when it closed at the end of the year, there was an indoor soccer arena Kicks Indoor Soccer here. The current apartment building (245 units) was built in the late 2000s as Modera Shepherd and replaced it and a 1920 (or pre-1920) house at 619 Shepherd, the northeast corner of the block.

El Rey Taqueria / 910 Shepherd Drive
This was originally a Church's Fried Chicken from the mid 1970s until the early 1980s when it converted to a Kentucky Fried Chicken (there were numerous other Church's restaurants that converted around this time, including 8910 Westheimer) and closed around 1996. El Rey Taqueria has been here since early 1997.

Across the street was a Jack in the Box that operated from 1974 to around fall 2019. It is currently being redeveloped as a gas station.

Cadillac Bar / 1802 Shepherd Drive
Hi-Loy Food Market was here until the mid-1940s when it moved to Larkin and Detering, and by 1950 was the home of M & N Food, with "A's Tool Center" (hardware equipment repair) in the early 1970s. Cadillac Bar has been here since 1979, with the Landry's ownership coming in later.

Saltgrass Steak House / 1803 Shepherd Drive
The earliest reference I can find for this address is Bonora's Hardware in the mid-1950s. In 1977 it became the Hofbrau Steaks restaurant. In 2007, it was purchased by Landry's, Inc., and while it still open as of August 2007 as Hofbrau, within a few months Landry's had rebranded it as Saltgrass Steak House. Unlike its suburban counterparts, the restaurant is relatively small, and the larger building to the left is a private banquet room.

Valero / 1816 Shepherd Drive
This Valero has two gas overhangs (just extensions out from the store, nothing special) and shares some of its parking with the Cadillac Bar nearby. Like most of the Valero stations around here older than 2005, this one used to be flagged as a Diamond Shamrock and Stop N Go before it was reflagged as a Valero/Corner Store. The convenience store here is Circle K, having been rebranded in January 2019 from Corner Store.

Historically, I'm not sure on this one. HCAD says it was built in 1973, but an older gas station was here since 1969 (Conoco). The Stop N Go has been here since 1983.


The addresses here are written south to north to align with Shepherd Drive (and plus, there are parts of S. Shepherd that are northbound only).

Whataburger / 3712 S. Shepherd Drive
Previously discussed briefly at the Farnham Street Starbucks, this Whataburger looks a bit different than a standard-build 1970s Whataburger would be but that's because from 1972 to 1975 it was Herfy's. Notably, it was because they didn't cover up or alter the roof that Herfy's had. There's a neat little drawing of what Herfy's looked like on that page.

Dunkin' / 2330 S. Shepherd Drive
This was originally the site of a 1950s-era gas station, but around 1979-1980, Popeyes Famous Fried Chicken (as the chain was branded at the time) opened in a new building. In the very early 1990s, this closed, and in 1993, it became an Arby's. Under Arby's, the building was modified to update to their prototype, particularly the window in the front (standard late 1990s Arby's design). In the early 2010s, Arby's closed. In 2013, Dunkin' Donuts opened in the spot.

Torchy's Tacos / 2411 South Shepherd Drive
Built as a short-lived Monterey House in 1987 to replace Jimmie Green Chevrolet, this space has had a revolving door of the restaurants over the years. Monterey House was short-lived and closed by the end of 1989. Marisco's Bar & Grill opened in 1990 and closed in 1992. Ari's European Cafe opened in September 1994 but closed in 1995. Crostini opened in early 1996 and closed in 2007. Café Zol operated from 2007 to around early 2010 and for less than six months, it was Sabetta Café. The last tenant before Torchy's opened in 2012 was Gratefull Taco in 2011. Gratefull Taco was inspired off of Torchy's Tacos, and even featured the "Owner's Room", a restaurant-within-a-restaurant had foods prepared by the owner of Sabetta. In 2011 Gratefull Taco closed and in 2012 an actual Torchy's Tacos opened.

Petco / 2110 S. Shepherd Drive
From August 1941 to February 1996 this was Jamail Bros. Food Market, which was not to be confused with the Jim Jamail & Sons Food Market on 3114 Kirby (nor other one-off Jamail operations), the one everyone still talks about, and has been somewhat documented by a few sources, including Texas Monthly and independent blogs.

Jamail Bros. outlasted Jim Jamail & Sons. In February 1996, the 79-year-old Clarence Jamail retired, the 15 employees were re-hired by Rice Food Markets, and the store was liquidated. In October 1996, Petco celebrated its grand opening in the spot.

2010 South Shepherd Drive
In August 1953, the upscale locally-based Battelstein's opened a 60,000 square feet store as a second location with surface parking. This was the first upscale store outside of the downtown area. In 1956, of course, Sakowitz would open even further out, and while Battelstein's was not part of the Galleria/Uptown, it did well at River Oaks until the chain was dismantled in 1980. This "dismantling" by its owners had some stores sold to Palais Royal while others were reflagged as Frost Brothers. The River Oaks store was one of the lucky ones and was the last Frost Bros. to close in Houston when the chain finally went bankrupt in 1988.

The address was previously used as a 1930s-era building that served as an electric appliance repair shop and later a store for Naughton Farms, a mail-order plant nursery out of Waxahachie.

Since then, the vacant space was redeveloped as condominiums, today known as Renaissance at River Oaks at 2111 Welch Street, a condominium development that has been here since 1992 when they originally opened under the name "The Remington".

Taco Bell / 1817 S. Shepherd Dr.
Until a renovation around 2010/2011, this held a Pizza Hut Express co-brand. Around 2020 it was completely rebuilt with a new parking lot and everything. 1817 S. Shepherd has been the home of a Taco Bell since 1973.

Who Made the Cake! / 1811 S. Shepherd Drive
This 1935 house had been converted to commercial use as early as 1959 with Maison Olivia Beauty Salon. By 1967 this was Ila's Beauty Salon and in 1970 "House of Dru-Tu". By 1972 it was The Livin' Room (which I can guess based on the classified for a cocktail waitress was a nightclub). 1976 it was Lories Illusion (another nightclub). By 1986 it was Armando's, an upscale Mexican restaurant appealing to the yuppie crowd (a restaurant review described the building as a "horrid-shade-of-green [that looks] like a Porsche/BMW/Mercedes Benz dealership".

After July 1994 it was shut down to move to 2300 Westheimer and in May 1995 L'Aventure Cafe, a French restaurant, opened in the spot. In April 1996, L'Aventure was revamped as Bistrot Aventure with a new chef, a revamped menu to focus on New American cuisine (rather than upscale French cuisine), and a new interior but it closed in October 1996.

The current tenant, special event cake baker Who Made the Cake! moved in around the mid-2000s here in this converted house. According to one article this was previously Camella's Creations before it was purchased in 2002.

Backstreet Cafe / 1103 South Shepherd Drive
The somewhat pricey Backstreet Cafe has been here since the early 1980s. Otherwise, the converted house has had a few office tenants over the years since the mid-1960s, including Ampersand Inc. (publishing), a realtors office, and an insurance office.


Greentown Labs / 4200 San Jacinto Street
Because Southwest Freeway is elevated as it heads into downtown, the things near it are not directly accessible from Southwest Freeway directly, this was a former Fiesta Mart, opened in 1988 with a distinctive "marquee" facade that lit up the night up into its closure in July 2020. The closure of Fiesta was met by dismay by the neighborhood but there were several problems, including Fiesta's new ownership remerchandising and modernizing the chain, the large homeless population that milled around the area and intimidated shoppers, the new H-E-B at McGregor Road, and most importantly--the fact that it was connected to Sears' ownership. The store had opened as a supermarket complement to Sears on land it owned formerly used for parking. When Sears closed the store in the late 2010s and handed it over to Rice, Fiesta was on borrowed time and eventually the lease ran out and was not renewed. With the former Sears becoming the core of the new "Innovation District", the former Fiesta reopened as Greentown Labs, a clean energy business incubator.

Shell / 2525 Southwest Freeway
The first "real" entry on Southwest Freeway is a Shell station. This Shell has had a Timewise since the late 2000s and was originally built in 1991 (though was a Shell at least since the late 1990s). It, along with Hooters and IHOP behind it, was the home of Gulf Coast Motor Inn, later Greenway Inn, a motel complex that operated from 1971 to closure in 1985. This Greenway Inn is not to be confused with the now-defunct Greenway Inn & Suites further down at 2929 Southwest Freeway.

2215 Southwest Freeway
Magic Island, an upscale Egyptian-themed dinner theater that featured magic and comedy performances operated here from its opening in 1984 to its closure in 2008 (though it briefly closed in 1985 during a bankruptcy), when Hurricane Ike caused fire and water damage. Various plans have come and gone to renovate and reopen the facility though this has never come to fruition. An interesting look inside the abandoned building can be seen at this link.

Academy Sports + Outdoors / 2404 Southwest Fwy.
Academy opened here in 1996 (moving from a c. 1980 location at 2030 Westheimer Road). In 2009, the store received an expansion to the east side, and in 2015, the facade was renovated out of its old "wedge" style for a regular, flat facade.

Crowne Plaza / 2712 Southwest Freeway
Crowne Plaza Houston River Oaks has gone under several name changes since it was originally built as a Holiday Inn back in 1984. From the late 1990s up until around 2010-2011, it was "Holiday Inn Select", a now-defunct sister brand to Holiday Inn.

Four Points by Sheraton / 2828 Southwest Freeway
Four Points by Sheraton Houston Greenway Plaza originally opened in April 1971 as a modern TraveLodge hotel (see the Travelodge in the Heights page). It originally featured the "Voyager Dining Room" restaurant and the "Dry Dock Club" cocktail bar.

In 1998 the Travelodge closed for a renovation and conversion into Club Hotel by DoubleTree, a new brand launched as "an exciting mid-market hotel designed for the business traveler" according to the website at the time (later known as DoubleTree Club Hotels), but in 2001, this particular hotel treated some business travelers particularly badly enough that a PowerPoint presentation was created and widely shared about the hotel and how an unsympathetic night clerk treated them (some versions remove the details about the hotel and place, and just call it the "ABC Hotel").

Within a year of the incident, the hotel changed brands again, this time to the Ramada Plaza (the "upscale" brand of Ramada Inn), and in 2003 became "Sheraton Four Points Hotel", which would eventually restyle as "Four Points by Sheraton".

Olive Garden / 2929 Southwest Freeway
Today, there is an Olive Garden at this address with Sunset Animal Hospital (2959 Southwest Freeway) sharing its parking lot. However, it was a motel before all of this.

Houstonaire Motor Inn opened in February 1965 at 2929 Southwest Freeway with 232 rooms, each with a balcony, and featuring a coffee shop, private club, and large dining room, as well as a swimming pool. In 1970, it was rebranded as Colonel Sanders' Inn, as opposed to the 1979 date given by

This lines up with this book about the Colonel Sanders-branded hotels not working out soon after their 1969 debut, as by 1979, the Colonel was one year away from his death, and the chain of restaurants owned by Heublein (who likely had little interest in expanding the brand through a hotel chain).

In late 1971, the hotel reverted to its original name, before dropping the "Motor" in 1972. In 1974, Houstonaire became Ramada Inn ("Ramada Inn - Greenway Plaza"), though the Houstonaire Club remained with its original name into the late 1970s. The last reference to Ramada came in November 1985 came for interviews, afterward, references to the hotel completely disappear. In 1987, the hotel saw its first newspaper mention in overa year as the "Riviera Hotel" (and mentioned to be the former Ramada Inn), but by 1988 it seemed to return to the Ramada Inn name. In late 1990, it became the "E-Z 8 Motel" (part of a San Diego-based chain). In 1992, it became the Premier Inn, and in 1997, a Best Western.

In 2005, it assumed its final name before demolition—Greenway Inn & Suites. In 2009, the pool closed permanently and was filled in, and around March or April 2014 the hotel was permanently closed, with the hotel demolished in October of that year. The next year, an Olive Garden (with the newest logo) opened in the spot (and taking the address) and Sunset Animal Hospital (24/7 service) opened within a few years after that.

Chili's / 3215 Southwest Freeway
This Chili's restaurant opened in May 1998 as part of a redevelopment that was built on the former site of the Albert Pick Motor Inn / Americana Motor Inn hotel after its demolition a decade prior.

3133 Southwest Freeway
In late 1973, Holcombe Lindquist Inc., a local retailer of pianos and organs built a new store here with a gimmick...a full-sized piano fixture mounted on top of their sign (15 feet tall, 25 feet long toward the back and 128 feet in the air), which was also used as a directional ("At the sight of the big grand piano..."). By 1990, a second store had been opened at I-45 and FM 1960 (sans giant piano) but by that time the company was in financial trouble, and closed that location.

In summer 1991, owner Don R. Holcombe founded a new company, Holcombe Music Inc., which continued to operate at 3133 Southwest Freeway, but within six months Holcombe Music was forced to file for bankruptcy. Dallas-based Brook Mays would reopen the store in spring 1992, once again using the piano signage. By 2002 Brook Mays rebranded the store as Brook Mays PianoMax, but in 2006 Brook Mays went out of business. After being used as Noel Furniture Clearance for a time, Fort Bend Music Center moved into the upper level and enacted a restoration of the piano, adding LED lighting. (An article states that at one time the piano spun around until high winds damaged the motor. The restored piano did not spin.)

Eventually, Fort Bend Music Center moved out and the building was renovated as office space. Despite no music-based tenant, it is known as "Grand Forum" today with the piano still there.

Lakewood Church Central Campus / 3700 Southwest Freeway
The largest church building in America, this was originally built as a multi-purpose arena called The Summit in 1975 and renamed Compaq Center in 1998 due to a naming rights deal, though in 2003 the venue closed as the sports teams at the Summit (sports teams at the Summit included the Houston Rockets, Comets, Aeros) moved to Toyota Center. In 2005, the building reopened as Lakewood Church (after a renovation) and the home of Joel Osteen Ministries, initially under a long-term lease but it was purchased by the church in 2010.

4020 Southwest Freeway
I had originally written this as an article for The Houston Files, but this hotel was built in 1969 as Executive Motor Inn, with name changes as follows as per newspaper references: Executive Red Carpet Inn (1972) though references to the Executive Motor Inn or Executive Motor Hotel existed into 1980, Executive Motor Hotel (1981), Quality Inn - Greenway Plaza (1983), Ramada Inn - Greenway Plaza (1992), Executive Inn - Greenway Plaza (early 1993), Super 8 Inn (late 1993), Executive Inn - Greenway Plaza (1997), Hawthorn Inn & Suites (mid-2000), and Comfort Inn & Suites (fall 2003).

Sometime around late 2006 the hotel was closed and demolished as per Google Earth and HCAD records and today Metro Greenway (4100 Southwest Freeway) has been built atop of the land plus some. If you visit the Houston Files link, you can see an ad for the hotel.

Fuddruckers / 3929 Southwest Freeway
This Fuddruckers restaurant has been here since 1996.


4702 Richmond Avenue
This opened as "Hi-Neighbor Grocery Store" in 1953 and was purchased by Handee Food Marts in 1960. These stores were said to be remodeled with their stock replenished, so it may have been closed briefly. In 1969, Handee Food Marts was purchased by National Convenience Stores, and by 1971 they had converted it to Stop N Go, their main brand. In the 1990s Stop N Go began to divest or close non-gas locations under new corporate parent Diamond Shamrock. It became "Super K Food Store" (not related to Kmart). The store closed and was torn down in very early 2014, though could've closed in late 2013.

Presumably, the forest green facade of the store came from the Stop N Go era in the 1980s.


Note: Some of this I had written for a "Westheimer/Shepherd" page that was never released. Also see the main Westheimer page. Other parts (east of Shepherd) were originally for Wikimapia.

Crave / 516 Westheimer Road
Nouveau fusion Indian cuisine Indika was built here in 2006, relocating from a Memorial Drive to a newly-built building on Montrose. Indika was highly rated by Fearless Critics, which I've mentioned on this site before (they liked the goat brain masala). For well over a decade, Indika entertained diners in Montrose, but all good things come to an end.

The last few years of Indika were quite turbulent (including a cancelled plan to revamp the restaurant with a new name and menu) but COVID-19 put an end to Indika for good. In late 2022, Crave opened, a lounge/hookah bar/restaurant. (There's a good thread on HAIF regarding the building).

Shake Shack / 1002 Westheimer Road
From 1998 to January 2018 this was Burger King, closing due a lease expiration. The Burger King was demolished in July 2018 with Shake Shack opening in December. The Burger King had an awkward drive-through lane that emptied directly onto Westheimer Road rather than its own parking lot like most drive-throughs. Like with Burger King, Shake Shack is only accessible with the parking lot behind the store and no direct access from Westheimer Road.

Sweetgreen / 1303 Westheimer Road
Stylized as "sweetgreen", this restaurant was originally constructed as a Wendy's, which operated from 1984 to 2012 and after closure was gutted down to a shell. It was rebuilt and reopened as Austin-based Doc's Motorworks Bar & Grill by November 2014, a year after it was supposed to. However, in December 2017 it closed. Sweetgreen opened in September 2019. Before Wendy's, 1303 Westheimer was home to a "Der Wienerschnitzel" (1969-1982).

Public Storage / 2006 Westheimer Road
This self-storage facility was originally an Oak Farms dairy plant.

Target / 2075 Westheimer Road
The main anchor of the Shepherd Square Shopping Center, this Target (T-3375) is one of the smaller Target stores in Houston (about 60k square feet), opening in October 2020 and replacing a Randalls Flagship. Randalls (when it was here) closed in late 2018 with two others.

Randalls opened here January 12, 1990 (store #48, later #3048) as a Flagship store, featuring the usual supermarket departments plus a coffee shop, both a salad bar and a fresh fruit bar, video rental, a bank branch, photo shop, and the "Flagship Café", Randalls' in-store restaurant for in-store eating or taking home.

There's some other stuff in the shopping center (b. 1989) too, including an upper level. You can see the PDF here, archived from here.

Exxon / 3802 Westheimer Road
Also known as "Robert's Exxon Car Care Center", this gas station was a Mobil in the early 2010s. Despite converting to an Exxon, it features Mobil fonts on the gas price board and the store's "Snack Shop".

Central Market / 3815 Westheimer Road
Houston's first and only Central Market supermarket opened on May 30, 2001 with a major remodel done in 2016. It features a massive parking lot (always full) as Central Market, despite being owned by H-E-B, is something seen to be believed, with exotic produce, rare items, and great (if expensive) fresh, it's the only Central Market in Houston.

Before Central Market, there were a few other buildings on the site, such as Dot's Coffee Shop (formerly a Kip's Big Boy prior to 1988) at 3839 Westheimer. A picture of this restaurant can be seen at Houston Historic Retail.

Apple / 4012 Westheimer Road
I visited this store once regarding my iPhone's battery replacement (which I was entitled to a free one, turns out the battery had gone bad which explained some odd behavior recently). Gotta say, I'm torn on the experience. On one hand, it's much easier to get in and out of then the Galleria but you still have to wait, and there's no air-conditioned mall to wander around in. (I recommend Central Market.)

The glassy, see-through store opened in March 2012 and was briefly closed in late summer 2019 for a renovation. The building was built new and mostly replaced Harold Powell (known as Harold's outside of Dallas, declared bankruptcy in 2008) at 4010 Westheimer Road.

Starbucks / 4081 Westheimer Road
The Starbucks Coffee store at Westheimer & Suffolk has been open since December 1994, one of the first Starbucks stores in Houston.

Extended StayAmerica / 4701 Westheimer Road
This modest hotel sits on the edge of the "Uptown" area in the area that separates Uptown and Highland Village. In late 1963, Rudy Hanke Motors built a new building on the site as part of a dealership and within a few years it became DeMontrond Buick (used cars). In spring 1966, the building was converted into a restaurant--Tokyo Gardens, an authentic Japanese restaurant featuring all sorts of imported décor and both Japanese and Western-style seating (though later postcards just show the common table setting). For over thirty years, Tokyo Gardens entertained customers but in 1998 the restaurant was finally closed for a hotel, with the fixtures liquidated and eventually demolished.

Owner Glen Gondo (son of the original owner Eugene Gondo) did plan to create a new Japanese restaurant with a different concept and name, but this fell through. The current Extended StayAmerica Houston - Galleria - Westheimer opened in the spring of 1999.

CVS/pharmacy / 4755 Westheimer Road
This CVS pharmacy is 24 hours. It was opened in 2002, before they bought the Eckerd stores.


LifeStorage / 1770 East T.C. Jester Blvd.
My old Safeway/Albertsons blog was written with a LOT less resources than I have now, but this former Albertsons (#2773) opened in 2000 and closed in early 2002 (before the rest of the stores in Houston) and one of just two Albertsons supermarkets ever built in the Inner Loop (the other one, at Kirby and Main, is now a Kroger). It has been a self-storage facility since 2004.

4702 Richmond Avenue
This opened as "Hi-Neighbor Grocery Store" in 1953 and was purchased by Handee Food Marts in 1960. These stores were said to be remodeled with their stock replenished, so it may have been closed briefly. In 1969, Handee Food Marts was purchased by National Convenience Stores, and by 1971 they had converted it to Stop N Go, their main brand. In the 1990s Stop N Go began to divest or close non-gas locations under new corporate parent Diamond Shamrock. It became "Super K Food Store" (not related to Kmart). The store closed and was torn down in very early 2014, though could've closed in late 2013.

Presumably, the forest green facade of the store came from the Stop N Go era in the 1980s.

Heights House Hotel / 100 West Cavalcade Street
The first Days Inn in Houston is so old that it cycled around back to being a restored boutique hotel again. The modern "Heights House Hotel" boasts "retro fun & modern amenities" in a motel setup complete with a swimming pool, but it wasn't always like that.

It was a Days Inn from its opening in 1976, but since around 1998, this was known as the "Astro Inn". While the familiar Days Inn signage was reused (with the "sun" portion being used for prices...I don't know how what it read originally, but in February 2008, rooms started $30.77 a night. By January 2020, prices had increased to $34.19.

The original Days Inn motels featured a building in front with a lobby and a restroom, and also (practically extinct as a practice today), a few gas pumps. By the late 2000s and into the 2010s, the gas canopy remained but other features were abandoned. There was no longer a restaurant...the last establishment to take a try at it was Judy Ann's Grill around the mid-2000s (the signage remained up several years after it closed), and there was no longer a pool, having been filled in many years ago. The entire property was surrounded by a chain-link fence, and hosted many semi-permanent residents. The new hotel opened in late 2020 and features a new restaurant, the Space Cowboy.

Ultimately, many of the features that the original Days Inn had and Astro Inn kept were also refurbished by Heights House. The old sign on Cavalcade was replaced, but the worn sign visible from I-45 still uses the distinctive Days Inn framework. The gas canopy was covered with green artificial turf, and while the original pool wasn't able to be restored, it was replaced with a modern one at the common hotel standard of around four feet (the old one was probably deeper).