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Old 12-22-2011, 11:14 PM
 
172 posts, read 303,046 times
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I love to track the history of stores and shopping centers. There was a Woolco at FM 1960 and Kuykendahl which was later a Fiesta, and then a Randalls. According to an online news article I found recently, Fiesta never opened until 1989, even though Woolco shut down in 1982. Now I really want to know if anything was there in between. The retail market wasn't as saturated in the 80's, and this area was growing like wildfire, so I really doubt it was empty that long. And I suspect Wal-Mart/Walmart might have been there. They had a store at 1960 and TC Jester which opened in 1987 or 1988 that was given a couple minor remodels in the 90's, but moved directly across the street to a Supercenter in 2002. I heard of a Wal-Mart/Walmart in Kentucky which opened in 1981 (and looked just like the first one in The Woodlands), but it was expanded in 1987. More recently it moved to a Supercenter.

Also, the story of the grocery stores here is really complicated. Randalls actually bought Fiesta's lease and kicked them out (Fiesta made A LOT of money on the deal though) and did a total renovation of the store. This was because Randalls had a store at 1960 and North Freeway that I think had a drainage problem and had to be condemned. What is really weird is that Fiesta closed around 1996-1997, but Randalls never opened until Safeway bought them in 1998-1999. And around 2000-2001, the Randalls closed. Does anyone remember any of these events well? I really would like to know whether it was 2000 or 2001 when Randalls closed. Because it all really seems like a waste of money what they did. The Albertsons in Spring at Kuykendahl and Spring-Cypress opened in 1999-2000 but closed in 2001-2002, and has been empty almost 10 years now. And that was a new building. The store was gorgeous too while it lasted. Now it seems like an eyesore.
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:38 AM
 
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You're probably better off asking the HAIF forum. That's their specialty:

Historic Houston - HAIF
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:20 PM
 
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Thanks for the advice but I made a post to that site months ago and never got a response. I love City-Data because of how busy it is.
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Old 12-24-2011, 03:22 PM
 
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I don’t think there was ever a Wal*Mart at the Kuykendall/1960 location. Some sites are just jinxed, and I think that is one of them.

Albertsons destroyed a beautiful pecan grove to build that store, then promptly closed it. What a waste!
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Old 12-26-2011, 08:46 PM
 
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I tend to think of the 1960 area as not being "that old" but then when I remember the stores that were out there in the 70's, yeah, it's old.

That store was originally a Woolco, then Fiesta and then Randalls. Nothing else. There was a Pappadeaux there in front that is now closed. Just to the east of it was a Storehouse furniture store. The SE corner, I think there is a music store there now, but that was a Safeway (yes, we had them once). The SW corner held a K-mart and there was a fairly popular restaurant in that center called the Texas Tumbleweed maybe? There was always a bank there where the BofA is, but originally it was a colonial building they picked up and moved to Louetta and converted to a church.

The NW corner of 1960 & Kuykendahl had the now closed down Burger King, Weiner's was the main anchor, and what is now one of the wings restaurants was a politically incorrectly named chain called Sambos.

Popolo Village at the NE corner of Stuebner-Airline and 1960 originally had some ill-conceived attempt at a little European Village facade. Each store had a little Disneyesque looking front & in later years they stripped it and turned it into a more standard and boring strip center.

North Oaks on the SW corner was actually a mall originally. I think there may still be a portion of it leading to the movie theater, if it is still there. At the far west end of the center was a Handy Dan home improvement store. I think those pre-dated Home Depot.

Greenwood Square, just west of that on the south side of 1960, also had a more interesting facade originally, with an ironwork balcony facade and more individual facades on most of the stores.

Champions Village III originally was trimmed out in that angled stained wood and stone that was so popular in the 70's. Later is was updated with the obligatory stucco. Randalls and Palais Royal were always there, but where the Sun & Ski sports is was originally a smaller version of Sakowitz, an upscale local clothing store that went belly up during the oil bust. There was also a Leopold Price & Rolle men's store in there too. Where the Stein Mart and World Market is was Wilson's. I don't know how to describe Wilson's to people too young to remember those kinds of stores. United was another one like it. They had a big jewelry department, stereo/electronics, a big toy dept., luggage, things like clocks and mirrors, odd assortment.

Across from them in the center that now has the Container Store and Carrabbas, originally the center space was storehouse furniture. At one point it was a Rice Epicurean, but that didn't seem to last long.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:09 PM
 
1,870 posts, read 2,785,251 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by magicoz View Post
I love to track the history of stores and shopping centers. There was a Woolco at FM 1960 and Kuykendahl which was later a Fiesta, and then a Randalls. According to an online news article I found recently, Fiesta never opened until 1989, even though Woolco shut down in 1982. Now I really want to know if anything was there in between. The retail market wasn't as saturated in the 80's, and this area was growing like wildfire, so I really doubt it was empty that long. And I suspect Wal-Mart/Walmart might have been there. They had a store at 1960 and TC Jester which opened in 1987 or 1988 that was given a couple minor remodels in the 90's, but moved directly across the street to a Supercenter in 2002. I heard of a Wal-Mart/Walmart in Kentucky which opened in 1981 (and looked just like the first one in The Woodlands), but it was expanded in 1987. More recently it moved to a Supercenter.

Also, the story of the grocery stores here is really complicated. Randalls actually bought Fiesta's lease and kicked them out (Fiesta made A LOT of money on the deal though) and did a total renovation of the store. This was because Randalls had a store at 1960 and North Freeway that I think had a drainage problem and had to be condemned. What is really weird is that Fiesta closed around 1996-1997, but Randalls never opened until Safeway bought them in 1998-1999. And around 2000-2001, the Randalls closed. Does anyone remember any of these events well? I really would like to know whether it was 2000 or 2001 when Randalls closed. Because it all really seems like a waste of money what they did. The Albertsons in Spring at Kuykendahl and Spring-Cypress opened in 1999-2000 but closed in 2001-2002, and has been empty almost 10 years now. And that was a new building. The store was gorgeous too while it lasted. Now it seems like an eyesore.
I remember the Fiesta and the Randalls (not the Woolco, before my time) and the Randalls closed right around the time it seemed that the Kuykendahl expansion (and eventual underpass) was a hitting full swing (traffic patterns were f'ed during that period, probably contributing the failure). Bookstop, which was bought by B&N, also closed on the other side of 1960 then also. That whole intersection was almost abandoned it seemed for a while.

I worked at the Albertsons when it opened and enjoyed working there. I don't remember it doing terribly, but then maybe it would have been less enjoyable had there been more customers, lol. I don't know what store would fill that space (since Randalls and Krogers are right up the street). Maybe a big ethnic store or indoor farmers market (for the farms left up there, which seem to be dwindling).
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:43 PM
 
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Modster, do you recall the name of the very popular, but short lived hamburger joint that was built on the NE corner of Kuykendahl and 1960. It was something "like" in n out, but the specific name escapes. It was there for a short while, quite a awhile before the underpass and whatnot was started. I remember it because the drive thru line almost always dumped out into 1960. The location was hell to get out of, as well due to intersection traffic. These places popped up here and there, and then promptly disappeared. Early 90's, I think. They tore the whole thing down, and it sat there looking like a dump for years after it closed.
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:44 PM
 
2,578 posts, read 7,333,888 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RCH99 View Post
Modster, do you recall the name of the very popular, but short lived hamburger joint that was built on the NE corner of Kuykendahl and 1960. It was something "like" in n out, but the specific name escapes. It was there for a short while, quite a awhile before the underpass and whatnot was started. I remember it because the drive thru line almost always dumped out into 1960. The location was hell to get out of, as well due to intersection traffic. These places popped up here and there, and then promptly disappeared. Early 90's, I think. They tore the whole thing down, and it sat there looking like a dump for years after it closed.
I remember it, but not the damn name. I want to say the building was red and white or something?
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Old 12-26-2011, 09:46 PM
 
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Right. I remember that the company was sponsoring top fuel NHRA teams at the time also. It was a pretty big company, but just disappeared...
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Old 01-01-2012, 05:56 PM
 
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THANK YOU everybody for your knowledge. What was it like when the Albertsons closed? Did they have a big sale or was it really sudden? Do you miss the shopping experience there? What really shocked me about the Fiesta/Randalls was how one time I went to the Michaels that was once there, I saw an empty Fiesta. The next time I was up that way, it was a shiny new Randalls. Then a third time I was up that way, it was empty again. I really regret not taking the one chance to go inside. Same with the Albertsons because I remember eating at the Jack in The Box there one night during their grand opening.

What I really want to know is why Albertsons left the area. I thought their stores were so much nicer than all the old dingy Randalls and Kroger stores from the early 80's.

Here are some more questions I have about Houston retail in general (please help!):

1. When and why did the H-E-B Pantry Foods at 249, Jones, and Louetta close? The place was a Stein Mart last I checked. I remember it opening as a Safeway in the 80's, but it became AppleTree pretty soon after. Then it was a Randalls, but ironically closed right before Safeway bought Randalls. H-E-B only opened in 1998 but was gone by 2006 I think.

2. What did the H-E-B Pantry Foods in The Woodlands start as? I have a feeling it was another grocery store, perhaps a Safeway. The store has since been demolished and rebuilt to face the freeway instead of Sawdust.

3. Was there a Safeway/AppleTree at Veterans Memorial and Gears? I think (not sure) a Kroger was there but closed around 2005. Now the store is an Asian market of some sort. There was an Eckerd next door that closed and never became CVS, so it's a Family Dollar now. There is what looks like an old Randalls across the street, part of which is now a Dollar General. Was this a Randalls or was it something else?

4. Was there a small one-floor JCPenney at 1960 and Jones (down from the old Target) for a while? I remember a really dark and dingy clothing store there of some kind that was there as of 2000. Perhaps it was a JCPenney women's store or clearance store since they already had a regular store at Willowbrook Mall?

5. Was the MacFrugal's/Big Lots at 1960 and Jones ever a Kroger? If so when did it close?

6. When did the Kroger at 2920 and North Freeway open? This one seems ancient and still has the Kroger "cube" signpost by the road. I know there was a Weiners down from it which I think is a Goodwill store now. The Kroger "cube" sign I thought was an early 70's design, but the SplashTown amusement park next door opened in the early 80's. So did the original Kroger in The Woodlands down the road (now closed).

7. Was there ever a supermarket in Northtown Plaza at North Freeway and Tidwell? Was there a Woolworth here?

8. Does the Gloria Jeans coffee chain exist anymore? I remember one at Willowbrook Mall. And Woodlands Mall had two which were in two different formats. One was a kiosk and one was a normal store. Strangely they were right next to each other. I saw two different Starbucks in different architectural styles at a mall in Dallas once (the kiosk matched a Haagen-Dazs one), but those two were far apart.

9. When did Marcos and The Original Pasta Co go out of business?

10. When did the two Texaco stations in Tomball (both of which had a Church's Chicken inside) convert to Shell, and replace Church's Chicken with McDonald's?

11. Was there a Home Depot at 1960 and Mills? If so when did it open, and close?

12. Did the AMC theater inside Willowbrook Mall coexist with the one at Willowbrook Commons (which itself moved way back in 1999 to another corner at the same intersection?)

13. Has the Safeway/AppleTree at 249 and Bammel North Houston been empty ever since AppleTree closed?

14. When did this hardware store that was later Rice Epicurean and The Container Store open (and close?) I thought it was Rice from 1990 to 2000 or so.

15. When did the Randalls at Jones and 290 (not Jones and West) close?

Last edited by magicoz; 01-01-2012 at 06:18 PM..
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