Other Houston Roads - Inner Loop
This page focuses on Inner Loop Houston items that aren't covered by other pages. Version 6.0 exports the South Shepherd and Shepherd entries (12 entries, except for 2010 S. Shepherd, which was retitled as "Renaissance at River Oaks"). Additionally, two Kirby entries ("River Oaks Plant House" and "Houston Natural Mattress") have been removed for a future Rice Village page, so we have over 30 all-new entries to be added.

Under Bellaire Boulevard, there's Jack in the Box, Silver Palace Chinese Buffet, Sinclair, Southside Commons (former Palace Bowling Lanes), and The Liberty Armory. East T.C. Jester gains a second entry (besides LifeStorage) with SignatureCare Emergency Room (former Eckerd). Ella Boulevard joins the page with three entries. Gulf Freeway also joins with three entries, all restaurants. Kirby Drive gains 3102 Kirby and Starbucks (additionally, 5310 Kirby gets a minor update). North Durham joins the page with two entries, North Main with four. Westheimer gains Chuy's and Avalon Square. Main Street gains The Co-Op at the Med Center. Finally there are others: Randalls (Midtown), Love's Travel Stop, Houston Inn & Suites, The Village of the Heights (former Fiesta), Brittany Place, Restaurant Depot (former Kmart), and H-E-B (Gulfgate). Four Points by Sheraton (retitled as "2828 Southwest Freewy") and Whataburger (3639 Westheimer) have been updated, and of course, the color is updated.

The Fuddruckers there on Southwest Freeway is "temporarily" closed since June 2023 but we'll leave it up this update.


Jack in the Box / 3908 Bellaire Blvd.
Jack in the Box has been here since 1975 and hasn't seen a lot of changes beyond new paint and the current logo.

Whole Foods Market / 4004 Bellaire Blvd.
The first recorded tenant for this address was Henke & Pillot (#17) back in 1949. In 1961, Henke & Pillot closed the store down (big changes were coming for Henke & Pillot—by the end of the 1960s they would take on their corporate parent's name...Kroger!). In 1963, it opened as FedMart, which by this time had dropped the membership requirement from its foundings back in California. The Bellaire FedMart was different from the Mykawa and Wirt stores in the early days. It had different times of operation (opening and closing earlier in the day), smaller (and had less advertised items available), and lacked a rail spur, which the other two had. The store closed around 1979 (FedMart would leave Houston and go out of business within a few years after that). In 1980, "The Grocery Store", a locally-owned discount supermarket opened in the space. The store was a bare-bones discount grocer, it didn't accept checks, had no perishables, and bag-your-own groceries and survived most of the 1980s. (More on "The Grocery Store" will be eventually featured). Ye Seekers (also known as Seekers) opened in 1991 (1992?). This full-service natural foods store featured a meat department, deli, bulk foods, cosmetics, beer & wine, seafood, bakery, and even a restaurant. Around 1998 it closed, and in 2000, it was absorbed, along with a defunct exercise gym and a Discovery Zone, into a Whole Foods Market, which also adapted the marquee of Bellaire Theater (in the same strip center) as part of the supermarket's signage. This was the most significant change 4004 Bellaire had ever seen, with its outdated loading facilities also rebuilt.

Silver Palace Chinese Buffet / 4005 Bellaire Blvd.
This restaurant has been offering buffet-style Chinese food since 1994. From what it appears this restaurant was originally at suite H of this building and by 2005 took over the entire building, modifying the front facade in the process.

Sinclair / 4139 Bellaire Blvd.
Blair House Apartments were built in 1963 with 145 units (the first phase opened in November 1963, the second phase was completed in early 1964). In 2015 it was announced it would be torn down and replaced with "Alexan Blaire House", though actually was called Alexan Southside Place when it opened its first units in late 2017. Sometime around 2020-2021 it assumed its current name.

Southside Commons / 4189 Bellaire Blvd.
This building was built in 1956 as a bowling alley—the first reference to bowling here was Recreation Palace Bowling Lanes, opening in November 1956 after their old location at 6445 South Main, was destroyed in a fire in April 1956. By 1960, the building had expanded as Houston's largest bowling alley with 44 lanes, and in 1969 was already being remodeled and decorated. Around 1976 it became known as Palace Bowling Lanes and by 1980 connected with the Fair Lanes bowling chain (retaining its name), though never gained the AMF name, of which it was briefly associated with.

In October 2016, just shy of its 60th anniversary, Palace Bowling Lanes (it had a new name "Bowl on Bellaire" according to the website but the facade never changed).

The 4189 address was used concurrently with the bowling alley. The upper level was called the Bellaire Building and was leased as offices (Braeswood Place Homeowners Association was here as of 2006). A few years after Palace Bowling Lanes closed for good, the entire building was gutted as "Southside Commons" with restaurants, medical offices, and Palace Social, an upscale bar/restaurant with bowling lanes. Palace Social pays homage to the old name, but only has eight lanes.

The Liberty Armory / 4225 Bellaire Boulevard
This 1958 building has 4225 Bellaire closest to the road, with 4227 Bellaire set back. In 2007, 4225 hosted Premier Cleaners with a small portion sub-leased to Bowling Dynamix, and by 2011 that had given way to Nettles Exterminating. In 2014, the space became Liberty Armory, a gun shop and the Inner Loop's only gun range. 4227 Bellaire was Absolute Glassworks in the late 2000s, with 2013 bringing iBurn (along with a mural on the wall), which sold novelty hot sauces and other spicy foods (salsa, jelly, etc.) and moved out between 2021 and 2022 (now at 9637 Hillcroft Street) and the mural disappeared. Some digging reveals that during COVID-19, it almost went under. In late 2022 it became "Brain Freeze Daiquiri & Selfie Bar".

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.


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.

SignatureCare Emergency Room / 1925 East T.C. Jester Blvd.
Eckerd opened here in 2000 (moved from 1803 Ella) and closed in 2004 (never converted to CVS). It remained closed for well over 10 years before 2015 when it was finally reopened as a privately-owned emergency room. It must have flooded out during Hurricane Allison due to its close proximity to the bayou, but still reopened.


1805 Ella Boulevard
1805 Ella started out as Safeway in 1971 with the adjacent space of 1803 opening as an Eckerd in 1972. Safeway became AppleTree in 1989 and in 1994 got sold to Foodarama. Despite not living too far away at one time, I never got to see Foodarama before it closed but HHR did before the store closed in 2021. As of this writing, it indicates that Safeway absorbed the store, but it seems Eckerd moved out in 2000, so Foodarama did the work. After Foodarama closed, the Boost Mobile inside the store moved to 1973 W. T C Jester Boulevard, practically behind the old supermarket.

Jack in the Box / 1812 Ella Blvd.
Jack in the Box opened in 2003 on the site of an old gas station that had been there in some form since the 1960s. It was a Gulf in the 1960s and 1970s but I can't find it what it was in later years.

Rainbow Lodge / 2011 Ella Blvd.
The earliest reference I can find for this address is 1981 when French restaurant La Tour D'argent opened in a "historic log cabin". In April 2003, La Tour D'argent closed for "major structural renovations" with an expected reopening in October. It ended up reopening in November 2004. Sometime in 2006, La Tour D'argent closed permanently, and the century-old log cabin was re-occupied by Rainbow Lodge (moving from 1 Birdsall Lane on the Buffalo Bayou) in December 2006.


6867 Gulf Freeway
This was built as The Foundry in 1974. The second location of "The Foundry #1" at 3230 Chimney Rock, "The Foundry #2" featured "Steuben glass chandeliers, Belgian solid brass chandeliers, hand-etched glass doors from Natural Graphics and the finest prime rib, steaks, and seafood". At some point in 1978, The Foundry #2 became Beef 'N' Barrel Company. I am not sure if this was a re-tooling of the concept (The Foundry at Chimney Rock continued to operate) or the sale of the second location. By the early 1980s it was called Bonnie's Beef 'n Barrel Company and later became Bonnie's Beef & Seafood Company in the late 1980s. It ended up closed in 2015, though the Chron seems to have their opening date wrong. Figures...it was the Post that covered its early years.

6955 Gulf Freeway
During the mid-to-late 2010s the chain was rebranded as "JCI Grill" but this location closed in late 2018 following the loss of parking space.

Dot Coffee Shop / 7006 Gulf Freeway
This opened in January 1970 as "Dot Shop", the "Coffee" was added later. Arch-ive does have a picture, but no nighttime shots.

Remarkably, it's still a 24 hour restaurant.


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.

The Co-Op at the Med Center / 7710 Main Street
This was originally built as Residence Inn, which in its earliest days as a chain resembled individual apartment units rather than a full hotel. The Residence Inn by Marriott Houston Medical Center/Reliant Park originally opened around 1983 and originally included more units. However, in 2008, Marriott decided to tear down about a third of the units for a Courtyard hotel. In the late 2010s the hotel closed and was converted into an actual apartment complex, The Co-Op at the Med Center.

In the late 1960s this address belonged to the Houston Golf Center.


3102 Kirby Drive
This store actually faces West Alabama Street. It was Bed Bath & Beyond from November 2001 to summer 2023 (closed with the rest of the chain--though is still lingering on at press time). From 1970 to 1985 this was Eagle Discount Center, then from 1986 to 2001 was Rice Epicurean Market.

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 sold 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 the store was purchased by Tweeter Home Entertainment Group, and by late 2003 HEI was rebranded as Tweeter. Unfortunately, the chain went under in 2008, and the building that once had a high-end electronics store for over forty years was now 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 located in the building. Verizon closed the same year, and in 2023 was replaced by Memory Lane (shoes).

Starbucks / 5801 Kirby Drive
This Starbucks was built as a Taco Bell back in 1978 and still retains some of the restaurant's distinctive architecture. Sometime between 1996 and 1998 it was closed down, and all the existing equipment and fixtures were auctioned off in August 1998. Starbucks renovated and reopened the store by December 1998. It appears that this was one of the first Starbucks in Houston with a drive-through window. Starbucks Everywhere reports in 2022 it went exclusively to drive-through.


Durham is North Shepherd's southbound counterpart in the Heights.

Mico's Hot Chicken / 1603 North Durham Drive
This was a Fina when it was built in 1969, though changed hands in 1988. From 1993 to 2000 it was a car dealership (Automart) and by 2007 was another dealership called Sabinas (gone by 2011). From 2012 to 2015 it was Guero Deluxe Car Wash. It mostly had just pressure washers and no actual facility. Balls Out Burger opened in June 2017, with a renovation of the property that stripped out the pavement under the gas canopy for dirt and picnic benches as well as converting the office space to a kitchen. In early 2019, the restaurant shuttered, though the food truck version of the restaurant still operated. In early 2020 Mico's Hot Chicken opened (and probably benefited from the "year of outdoor dining").

Exxon / 1535 North Durham Drive
This opened in early 2018 and although officially "Market at Heights", signage says "Heights Market" for the convenience store.


Admiral Motel / 4703 North Main Street
This dates back to 1938 as the Admiral Courts, a new "auto court" at the comfortable spot right where US-75 turned from North Main up toward Airline. As early as the 1960s the motel was already going by "Admiral Motel & Apartments". The "motel" seems to be entirely permanent residents these days, and while it has an old sign out front (the "Admiral" part of the sign no longer works, and the neon for "Vacancy" is gone entirely), its glory days have long passed.

Spanish Flowers Mexican Restaurant / 4701 North Main Street
This restaurant was built as North Main Food Market back in the 1930s and by the late 1940s was redeveloped into the Admiral Grill to complement the motel (see entry above). By January 1958 it was a truck stop cafe, "Vince's Cafe" and by the mid-1980s was the 24-hour Spanish Flower (singular, later Spanish Flowers). It continued to be a 24-hour restaurant until 2020.

Cantina Barba / 3701 N. Main St.
Cantina Barba opened c. 1968 as Church's Fried Chicken. It replaced a smaller building from 1948 that was home to Houston Shoe Hospital. The way the building was configured appeared to be there was no dining room, only some outdoor tables, which it would have for many years. In 1982, a number of Church's became Kentucky Fried Chicken (this was one of them) it got a facade update at that time, and this would remain KFC until 2003. From around 2007 to the mid-2010s it would be El Taquito Rico. The renovation to Cantina Barba (in 2018) stripped it of its KFC-ness and returned it closer to what it might've looked like as Church's. There's also a bar-within-a-bar, the Mijos Mezcal Bar, which is located in a shipping container on-site. Houston Chronicle rated it as a "fake" speakeasy as it was too easy to find.

McDonald's / 3611 N. Main Street
Originally opened around 1978/1979, this McDonald's has a tall sign to be seen from the highway but in 2007 the store was torn down and rebuilt with their modern prototype in 2008. The sign also moved a bit farther from the highway as well a few years after the rebuild.


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.

2828 Southwest Freeway
This hotel 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" (Four Points by Sheraton Greenway Plaza). In 2022, the hotel closed for conversion into an apartment building.

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 Arch-ive.org.

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 this was under a long-term lease, but the church purchased the building entirely 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.


Edwards Greenway Palace 24 / 3839 Weslayan Street
Opened in 1999 as one of the few modern multiplex theaters in the Inner Loop, this helped put the screws to the screws to the smaller (and by this time quite outdated) Greenway 3 Theatres at Greenway Plaza proper. The attached parking garage at 3838 Norfolk Street is not free.

Randalls / 5586 Weslayan Street
This Randalls opened as a Weingarten back in 1951 and was one of three Weingarten stores to remain open after January 1984 after the chain was divested by Grand Union (with most stores being sold to Safeway, Rice, or closed altogether). In mid-1984 it was picked up by Randalls, which expanded and renovated by Randalls as store #33 as their first Inner Loop store. Today it's known as Randalls 4033, and Houston Historic Retail briefly discusses how this store almost anchored the first enclosed regional mall in the United States.


Note: Some of this I had written for a "Westheimer/Shepherd" page that was never released. Also see the main Westheimer page. It is written with the addresses reversed for better compatibility from the 610 page and Westheimer page.

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

Extended Stay America / 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.

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.

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 departments...plus, 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.

3743-3745 Westheimer Road
From left to right, there's currently (as of late 2022) Haven Dentistry (3745-A), Walgreens (3745), Baylor Medicine Family Medicine (3743), and a vacancy (3743-A).

Going back to the start, this was Safeway when it opened in 1970 and converted to AppleTree in 1989. In 1994, the store was bought by Rice Epicurean Market, and in 1995 they expanded the store from 28,500 square feet to 35,000 square feet. In 2013, Rice Epicurean sold all but one of its stores to The Fresh Market, which closed and downsized their space. While The Fresh Market would pull out of Houston a few years later, this one closed first (in 2014) and the space became Walgreens in 2015.

Two of the spaces that were carved out of the former Rice Epicurean (that The Fresh Market did not use) became Texas Emergency Care Center (3743) and Mattress Firm (3743-A). By 2018, Texas Emergency Care Center w as closed and a third space was carved out of the former Rice Epicurean (it appears that Walgreens contracted the space further from The Fresh Market), 3745-A at the east end of the building. By March 2020, Mattress Firm was gone (closed between November 2019 and March), the emergency room had been retenanted by Baylor Medicine Family Medicine, and finally Haven Dentistry came in-line between 2021 and 2022.

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".

Whataburger / 3639 Westheimer Road
A Whataburger has been on this site since the mid-1970s (it was not built as a Whataburger, but rather Herfy's). The restaurant was rebuilt in 1995.

Chuy's / 2702 Westheimer Road
This opened as a restaurant called Smokehouse in 1953 with an expansion in 1955. It was sold in 1958 and reopened as "Will Howard's Restaurant", but six months later the Lambs reassumed ownership as "Lamb's Smokehouse", though was still alternately known as "Smokehouse". It was sold a few times—becoming Crow's Restaurant in 1961 (same ownership of a Galveston restaurant), then in 1965 to Peggy and Vernon Bordman to become Bordman's Restaurant and Fireside Club (though the Fireside Club dated back to the Smokehouse days--this was a "private club" required for drinking liquor in those days).

In 1985 Bordman's closed after twenty years and reopened as Capers by chef Mary Nell Reck (she had previously opened Truffles! at Katy Freeway, see this page, 8943 Katy Freeway), though that closed and it became Square Meal Cafe in 1987. Finally, it opened as Chuy's (first expansion outside of their Austin original) in April 1990, and has been such since.

Avalon Square / 2400 Westheimer Road
Avalon Square, a 220-unit apartment building, has been kept up relatively well and was built in 1973 as one of the first apartment complexes in Houston to have three levels of apartments plus covered parking, situated half a level below ground, and linked with elevators. The apartment complex was billed a luxury apartment complex upon opening.

Chevron / 2103 Westheimer Road
The "Quik Mart" at this Chevron is a carry-over from when it was a Citgo. It the late 2010s it was converted over to a Chevron. It was a Texaco in the 1980s, possibly up until 2005.

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.

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

RMS Auto Care / 1759 Westheimer Road
This auto shop has been operational since 1980 and was previously a Texaco station prior. As I've repeatedly stated before, these pages are sort-of meant as a replacement for Wikimapia (specifically, my edits) but according to Wikimapia from someone who is not me: "Despite popular belief, this place is not owned by Linux guru Richard Matthew Stallman. However, 'rms' did stop by this place for a photo back in 1993. But, it was just a quick snapshot because he has a low opinion of Texas, and he was eager to get back to Civilization (i.e. Cambridge, Massachusetts)". I cannot find any other verification of this.

Sweetgreen / 1303 Westheimer Road
Stylized as "sweetgreen", this restaurant was originally constructed as a Wendy's, which operated from 1984 to 2012. After closure was gutted down to a shell, and that shell 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 Wienerschnitzel (as its old name "Der Wienerschnitzel") from 1969 to approx. 1982.

McDonald's / 1302 Westheimer Road
This McDonald's was renovated in the 2010s. It was originally built in 1985.

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.

Valero / 926 Westheimer Road
Stop N Go built a modern store in 1986 to functionally replace two other older Stop N Go stores in the Montrose area. By the late 1990s it had a Diamond Shamrock gas brand and in 2007 became Valero/Corner Store. Around 2019 the convenience store portion was rebranded again as Circle K.

Uchi / 904 Westheimer Road
Uchi, which has been here since 2012 and an offshoot of an Austin restaurant of the same name is located at the former Felix Mexican Restaurant, which operated from 1948 to 2008 it featured "Tex-Mex" cuisine. The Wikipedia article mentions that Fearless Critic gave Uchi good reviews but as Felix, they savaged it.

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).


Country Pure Foods - Houston Plant / 402 Yale Street
This started out as the new building for Nelson Milk Company (moving from 1331 N. Shepherd) in 1948 but around 1956 it closed and was replaced by Cal-Tex Citrus Juice Inc. in 1957 (moving from 1918 Center), processing 60 tons of oranges (70% from Texas) into Vita-Pakt brand cartons and bottles. The company got in trouble a few years later when it was discovered the "pure" orange juice was actually orange juice concentrate, sugar, and water, but nevertheless the company remained and endured, up until 2012 when it was purchased by Ohio-based Country Pure Foods.

These days the plant is still known as "Cal-Tex Citrus Juice LP" but it hasn't converted fresh oranges to juice in a long time. It brings in existing concentrate (including apple and grape juice concetrate) and exclusively packages for institutional and foodservice uses. (Ed: I've personally visited the building before. The offices are located on the second level, accessed by a tight spiral staircase.)

Dunkin' / 2002 Yale Street
Dunkin' Donuts (still branded as such) opened around February-March 2018 in a former Quizno's Subs location that had been there since around 2002 and operated until around late 2015/early 2016. Quizno's replaced KFC, which was built in the mid-1970s and closed around 2000 for a multi-brand concept at 2701 Yale Street. Quizno's Subs opened soon after and closed in the mid-2010s.

An early reference for this address appears around January 1954 as Weingarten's Green Thumb Nurseries, a spin-off of the grocery chain (they had a full supermarket across the street) but it didn't seem to last for more a few years.

Heights Asian Cafe / 2201 Yale Street
This was Long John Silver's from approximately 1970 to 2007. Heights Asian Cafe, which opened around December 2010, kept the blue-and-yellow drive-through sign of Long John Silver's but around 2014 erected a fence around the property, only open during business hours.

First Stop Food Store / 2418 Yale Street
Stylized as 1st Stop Food Store, this convenience store once had its photo in the Houston Chronicle as it changed brands from 7-Eleven to Stop N Go in 1987. (7-Eleven was here since 1964, before even the longstanding iconic logo). In 1994 it disconnected from Stop N Go and went independent.

2702 Yale Street
For years, this was a Church's Chicken that closed sometime around spring 2016 and was demolished in August 2018 (parking lot and all). In late 2020 construction began on a new retail building. Firehouse Subs plans to open soon but as of April 2023 but this hasn't happened yet. Going back in time, some of the first references for this address are "C&C Furniture" in the early 1960s (operated out of a converted house and liquidated in 1963), its modern history was in the early 1980s when it spent a brief minute as Houston area-based Ron's Krispy Fried Chicken but they sold out to Church's in 1983.


Randalls / 2225 Louisiana Street
The last new-build Randalls in Houston (that didn't replace another store), the Midtown Randalls at 2225 Louisiana sits on a pretty tight lot with a lower level parking garage. It opened in October 2002 and includes a Starbucks Coffee. In 2016, the store expanded slightly to add zero-foot setbacks (mostly for storage purposes) though it did receive a significant facelift (its second renovation since opening).

It is the closest "real" supermarket to downtown despite its diminutive size.

Johnny Quick / 3161 Old Spanish Trail
Johnny Quick opened as a UtoteM back in 1969 and converted to Circle K in 1984. In 1994 the Circle K stores in Houston were sold to Stop N Go, and in 1999 the convenience store went independent. At some point, there was a fuel station that was removed in the 1990s but a renovation in 2013 not only added new gas pumps but also fixed the signage--for some reason it was previously spelled as "Johny Quick".

Love's Travel Stop / 210 Patton Street
This was built in 1996 as Pilot Travel Center and sold to Love's in 2010. It has a Wendy's inside as a dining option.

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.

Houston Inn & Suites / 2200 South Wayside Drive
This a former Days Inn, see the page previously written (with a photograph) here.

The Village of The Heights / 1407 Studewood Street
Unfortunately I can't find much on the Fiesta that used to be here. It was built as Studewood Food Market in the late 1950s (replacing several houses), briefly served as Weingarten by 1980, and from 1992 to the latter part of 2012 it was Fiesta (Fiesta Mart #33). After it was demolished, a senior living complex went in at the same address.

55 Waugh Drive
This 1982 office tower replaced a "TraveLodge" hotel at 310 S. Heights Boulevard. Check out the page for more information.

Renaissance at River Oaks / 2111 Welch Street
This condominium development has been here since 1992 and originally known as "The Remington". Prior to this, it was 2010 South Shepherd Drive and was the site of a Battelstein's department store and its surrounding parking lot (the downtown store did not have surface parking). The Battelstein's was 60,000 square foot and the first upscale department store outside of the downtown area when it opened in August 1953 (Sakowitz would be out even further in 1956).

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.

Brittany Place / 2338 West 18th Street
Described as "Country French Provincial" when construction began in fall 1969, this 240-unit apartment complex stretches several blocks along West 18th Street but itsn't very deep.

Restaurant Depot / 1431 West 20th Street
Restaurant Depot, a wholesale business opened in 2005, occupies most of this former Kmart, which operated from November 1967 to April 2003 (it was badged as a Big Kmart since 1997). The rest of the space was taken up for a while by SSQQ Dance Studio (moved here in 2010 from an old strip mall location, though it closed after Hurricane Harvey trashed it), with the space subdivided further divided into BATL Axe Throwing and UFC Gym several years after that.

Additionally, the former auto center has been converted into smaller shops and restaurants.

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).

H-E-B / 3111 Woodridge Drive
This H-E-B opened in May 2002 and anchors the modern "Gulfgate". Gulfgate Shopping City, as it was originally known, opened in 1956 as the first modern shopping mall in Houston, with Sakowitz, Joske's, and Weingarten, later getting enclosed before being torn down in the late 1990s. (More on the former Gulfgate in the future). In any case, the H-E-B replaced the Pantry store at 7994 Bellfort Avenue (see Outer Loop page).

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