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Willsatx

Joske's In Houston

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http://jimmywilliamson.com/Cited%20Cases/20Allied%20Stores%20of%20Texas%20Inc%20v%20Gulfgate%20Joint%20Venture.pdf

interesting...talks about the specially designed flood gate doors at Joske's. Looks like failure to maintain drainage was the flood culprit, not the design, itself. Graham actually testified.

I remember those gates back there. In later years, when Joske's was still "Joske's", I liked to park on the back side and go in the basement because the parking lot was less crowded. I always felt kinda claustrophobic though, when walking that short distance between the opening of the 'gates' and the actual store doors.

In reading that court document and the 1975 flood date, I thought that might have been the time an Astros game was called because of rain. Not because the dome flooded but because all the roads around the dome were flooded and no one could get TO the game. Coaches, players, fans, everyone was affected. But, it seems that the rainout game was in 1976.

I do remember a fantastic flood `somewhere` around that time frame but not the exact date. During those years I worked downtown, near the M&M Building (UHD now) on the bayou. We watched out our 8th floor windows as cars parked in the lot right on the bayou slowly slid down the banks and disappeared into the water.

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Researching the life of Helen Corbitt who was restaurant managers for Joske's in Houston,--must have been the downtown store in the late 40s. She only worked there briefly. Does anyone have any helpful information about the restaurant or Corbitt's tenure?

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1 hour ago, Judy Alter said:

Researching the life of Helen Corbitt who was restaurant managers for Joske's in Houston,--must have been the downtown store in the late 40s. She only worked there briefly. Does anyone have any helpful information about the restaurant or Corbitt's tenure?

 

I had personally never heard of her. Searched the Chronicle Archives and was able to find lots about her. The restaurant was named "The Garden Room" and featured the first fully electric kitchen in the South! She was also manager of the Palomino Bar (another dining room), and the Gourmet Shop. It seems she was there from the grand opening of the Houston Joske's (October 25, 1948).

 

Quote

"The Gourmet Shop, where domestic and imported delicacies, exclusive lines of soups, preserves, and vegetables, cheese and candies will be sold.

 

The Garden Room is reached from a sunken garden of flowers and shrubs with contemporary Georgian decorations off the third floor. The dining space carries a gardenia and magnolia motif in the rug, walls and in-between treatments.

 

The Palomino Bar is just what the name implies a-a food counter in rustic, ranch-like atmosphere, where a snack can be gotten quickly. Over the bar is a valance of cutouts of Palomino ponies, saddles, and spurs. Stools and counter are in Palomino colors."

 

In 1950 she prepared lunch for the Duke of Windsor when he visited Houston, by Christmas they were selling items branded with her name. By 1951 she had been promoted to "Food Service Director". She was still at Joske's in June of 1951, but left sometime later that year for the Driskill Hotel in Austin. 

 

I can't post the photos here because of Copyright uncertainty, however if you can get access to the microfilm there are some great photos of Joske's from their grand opening.

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3 hours ago, Judy Alter said:

Researching the life of Helen Corbitt who was restaurant managers for Joske's in Houston,--must have been the downtown store in the late 40s. She only worked there briefly. Does anyone have any helpful information about the restaurant or Corbitt's tenure?

My Grandmother had a ton of Helen Corbitt cookbooks.

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The best thing I remember about Joske's was their One Day End of the Month Clearance Sales back in the 70s and 80s. You could find great stuff for ridiculously low prices. My favorite example was the very good looking dressy sport coat I bought for ten dollars. The original price was 75 dollars. 

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On 7/10/2007 at 8:57 PM, brerrabbit said:

Two of my more vivid memories of Joskees. At their Gulfgate location the store had three floors. It's first floor was really the same level as the basement for the rest of the stores. There was a hill that had a sidewalk that ran from the bowling alley entrance and the Picadilly reasturant towards Joskees looping around the hill and down to the lower level. As kids we would ride our bikes down the hill as fast as we dared and try not to hit the front of Joskees. Well a friends brother went a little to fast, couldn't pull it out and crashed through the front plate glass window of the store. He got cut up pretty good. The second story was one my mother always told me about the Joskees in San Antonio. To this day if you look at the live.maps overhead view of what is now Dillards at the Riverwalk Mall you will see that the store is actually built around a small Catholic Church and is on three sides of the church property. The story was when Joskees built the store they aquired all the land except the churches and the church refused to sell. I would link to the picture but this site does not allow it.

Tropicana bowling alley

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