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IronTiger

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IronTiger last won the day on December 5 2014

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  1. Different companies (at the time) and different reasons. Safeway (original Houston) division failed because due to Safeway assuming lots of debt due to getting bought by KKR to "save" them from corporate raiders, and that meant a lot of divisions had to go, including the entire Southern California division (where Safeway had done quite well) to Vons. The "new" AppleTree chain in Houston failed because it had lots of debt and old stores, whereas Randalls and even Fiesta were zooming ahead with larger and nicer stores and getting attacked by newcomers Food Lion and HEB Pantry at the low-end. Albertsons (original) division failed because Randalls and Kroger already had lots of stores, and it would've taken a big investment just to get a fraction of the market share. (That and Albertsons had a lot of bad location planning). The company had also assumed a lot of debt through buying American Stores in 1999 and decided that trying to get Houston wasn't worth the effort. Randalls had been run into the ground by Safeway's leadership from the 1990s and a failure to effectively compete (including on price, selection, larger stores, etc.) and even after Albertsons' purchase of Randalls, the division was in bad shape (and again, struggling with debt), so it's dying on the vine.
  2. Hotels are indeed at risk, as mentioned in the article above. However, most of the hotels that simply did not reopen were either downtown (not a lot going on in that era) or other bad locations that were oversized (TMC, the Holiday Inn on Memorial). I could imagine an Energy Corridor hotel or two dropping out, as well as a few others in less-viable areas.
  3. Houston Chronicle. They've got the whole thing digitized these days, so searching for many things is much easier.
  4. According to the paper, it opened in November 1967 as "Orlando's Lucky 7" (Lucky 7 being a grocer franchisee at the time, much like Minimax).
  5. Different Raffles. The Houston Raffles restaurant was a one-shot operation by local restaurateur Leo Kalantzakis at 1455 West Loop South (in what was then Armco Steel Building), opened in 1969.
  6. Found 'em from newspaper microfilm. Luckily, the Houston Chronicle (but not the Post, sadly) has been fully digitized (ads and all) on the Houston Library website, all you need is a Houston library card.
  7. Never imagined apartments would go here...although I was hoping I could figure what the office building used to be than what it is now. Street View and other stuff says it was an AT&T call center (for collections), so I guess it might date back to the Cingular/Houston Cellular days as far as the call center went?
  8. It's been there longer than that...records indicate it's been there since at least 1990.
  9. If I recall, the "1930" date used by HCAD isn't necessarily accurate because of lost/missing records in those days.
  10. Discovery Channel Stores were neat, I remember visiting one in New Jersey when the chain was winding down business. My father bought a clock that projected the time on the ceiling (still in use in his bedroom) while I got a novelty inflatable tongue (which sadly didn't last).
  11. I'm pretty sure that the Weather Ball's final fate was scrap when TimeWarner officially acquired Six Flags (and by extension, AstroWorld), and if it wasn't gone by the mid-1990s, it might have been destroyed when AstroWorld was torn down around a decade later.
  12. None of the original Woodway Square buildings remain today. The fire destroyed a third of the apartments, and even by 1989 a new office building had been built on Woodway on the northeast side. In the early 1990s, the rest of the complex was redeveloped, except for a separate section that had been sold off as a new property (on the San Felipe side, my records say it was called "Woodway on San Felipe Apts."). The last of these were torn down in early 2004.
  13. That list is unfair and you know it. Giving The Dungeons its own point category, with San Francisco the only one in the States and a third of the "chain", is nonsense, as is other tacky tourist traps.
  14. I searched for the Jack in the Box in my "defunct restaurants" list, it wasn't there because it was rebuilt on the same site at one time. The fried chicken place is now a taqueria, and that other building between the fried chicken restaurant and the liquor store (notice it still has the same facade) was torn down prior to 1978.
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