Houston News : 9 legendary Houston businesses we’ll miss


It’s no secret: Houston is a tear-down and build-new city. And neighborhoods like Montrose, Midtown, and Rice Military often feel like a revolving door of openings and closings.

Last year it was El Real and Pax Americana. It hurt, but we made it through. This year it will be Theo’s, Dolce Vita, and Petrol Station. As Houstonians, we are trained to cope with losses of this caliber.

But with help from the never-ending pandemic, Houstonians have faced an onslaught of closures by particularly beloved businesses across industries, neighborhoods, and communities in the last 11 months.

From hidden gems to stalwarts and local institutions, here are the iconic and supremely Houston operations we’ll miss the most. Thanks, 2020.

1. Luby’s 

Exterior of Luby’s at 9797 S. Post Oak, Thursday, June 4, 2020, in Houston.

Karen Warren, Houston Chronicle / Staff photographer

Where’s the to-die-for mac ‘n’ cheese when you need a good eat-your-feelings sesh? The family-favorite cafeteria, which got its start in 1947, announced in September that it would dissolve and liquidate its assets to investors to the tune of between $92 and $123 million. Still, it’s a bit confusing. Thirteen Houston-area locations are still open, but various reports conclude that the home of the LuAnn Platter is on very shaky ground.

2.  Disco Kroger

“Disco” Kroger in Montrose is closing in January.

Google Maps

The Montrose outpost of the national grocery chain earned its moniker from this bumping soundtrack and, for a time, 24-hour operation that attracted late-night shoppers from surrounding neighborhood bars. The Kentucky-based company announced in November that the iconic location at 3300 Montrose would shutter in January 2021 after 42 years of business.

3. The Starbucks 

The Starbucks location at 2029 W. Gray St. at River Oaks Shopping Center has been boarded up and all signage has been removed.

Starbucks at 2029 W. Gray/Marcy de Luna

One-third of River Oaks Shopping Center’s famously adjacent, “end of the world” Starbucks closed in March. The coffee giant said that shutting down operations of the 2029 W Gray St. location was not related to the pandemic, but was a move to “evaluate its operations to ensure a healthy store portfolio,” Chron previously reported. It seems the brand realized that three locations—including a second at 2050 W. Gray St. and a third inside the Barnes and Noble at 2030 W. Gray—in under a 300-foot radius was a bit excessive. But we’ll sorely miss this Houston oddity.

The Fiesta Mart at 4200 San Jacinto St. is closing.

Jon Shapley, Staff / Houston Chronicle

Everyday Houstonians and famous rappers alike took to social media to honor the Latino-American supermarket at the edge of Midtown and the Third Ward when it closed in July. The store was known for its selection and fresh produce and international foods, as well as its walkability for members of the surrounding communities.

5. Shriners Hospital for Children in the Texas Medical Center 

The Shriners Hospital in the Texas Medical Center will close in late 2020 it was announced on Thursday, Jan. 9, 2020, in Houston. The closing ends a 100-year presence in the city. Shriners will consolidate area care at its larger Galveston hospital, which is particularly renowned for its treatment of burn victims. The Houston hospital began, under a different name, in downtown Houston in 1920 and moved into its current location in the medical center in 1996.Brett Coomer/Staff photographer

After 100 years in Houston, Shriner’s announced that it would be consolidating and moving all of its operations to Galveston in the first half of 2021. The hospital, which first opened downtown under a different name in 1920, announced that it is looking to build one premier hospital on the island. Shriner’s moved to its current location in the Texas Medical Center in 1996 and cares for children with acute burns, orthopedic conditions, spinal injuries, and cleft lip and palate abnormalities at its Houston-area locations.

6. Big Texas Swing

Big Texas Spring Dance Hall & Saloon is closing its doors for good after 15 years.

Photo: Yelp/Karen C.

Yelp/Karen C.

This beloved dance hall in North Houston announced in July that it would not survive the state’s second round of shutdowns for bars and restaurants due to Covid-19. The venue, which was known for attracting popular country acts likes The Josh Abbott Band and Turnpike Troubadours, said in a statement to their customers who helped raise more than $7,000 for Big Texas staff on GoFundMe, “your support up until the end was nothing short of legendary.”

7. Joan Pillow Bridal Salon

Jo Lynn Falgout helps daughter Kimberly Falgout Scheele dress in her wedding gown from Joan Pillow Bridal Salon.

David with Chris Bailey Photography

Joan Pillow, arguably the biggest name in Houston’s bridal couture scene, announced her retirement last January and stopped taking appointments at her local showroom by the end of the month. The second-floor Highland Village shop was one of the first to offer luxury nuptial-wear from brands Oscar de la Renta and  Carolina Herrera in the city and has dressed hundreds of local brides who possess designer taste (and budget) for the last 11 years.

8. AMC Studio 30

The AMC 30 theater in the 2900 block of Dunvale Road posted a message on its website and on its doors saying that low water pressure forced them to shut their doors, at least temporarily.

Chris McDonald

This giant theater on the 2900 block on Dunvale Road in Southwest Houston was known by movie buffs for its screenings of South and East Asian productions and independent films. The Kansas-based company officially closed the curtain on this 23-year-old location in November, after the theater’s lease expired, Chron previously reported.

9. Belden’s Food Market

Belden’s Food Market announced to its customers Friday, Dec. 27, 2019, that it is permanently closing in mid-January, 2020.

Courtesy of Belden’s Food Market

Belden’s Food Market closed its doors permanently in January. The Meyerland grocer was popular among the Jewish community for its kosher offerings. But the retirement of owner Richard Beldnen, competition from from a new neighboring H-E-B, and issues with flooding in the neighborhood drove the family to decide that it was time to close up shop after more than 50 years of operation.

Houston Forum

Source : chron.com