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Take A Walk Down South Main Street


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6900 South Main

Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The most famous building in Houston.

Demolished :(

Shamrock.jpg

6900 South Main

Trader Vic's at the Shamrock. Excellent tiki! :)

Demolished

TraderVics.jpg

6935 South Main

Vallian's. Houston's original pizza place.

Demolished

Valians.jpg

7021 South Main

Sheriton Oaks Motel

Demolished

SheritonOaks.jpg

7315 South Main

Red Lion Restaurant

Demolished

RedLion.jpg

7707 South Main

El Chico Restaurant

Status?

ElChico.jpg

7900 South Main

Kaphan's Restaurant

Demolished

Kaphans.jpg

7905 South Main

Rodeway Inn

Extant

RodewayMain.jpg

8000 South Main

Car'Lon Hotel Courths

Demolished

CarLon.jpg

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Great pictures! Thank you very much. I remember going to Weldon Cafeteria as a kid. That place was huge. I think they had as many as 4 serving lines at certain times. Valian's I went to a couple times but I don't remember it looking quite like that. I recall a taller building with a shish-ka-bob and a guy holding a pizza on top.

And I learned a new word. I'm embarresed (sp?) to admit I wasn't familiar with "extant" but I looked it up and ta-dum it means "still in existence". Good choice.

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More great pics. I love the Kaphan's restaurant building and the El Chico one looks pretty cool as well.

The tiki place is cool too... I wish someone would recreate a 50's era tiki restaurant here in Houston.

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  • 4 weeks later...

El Chico is gone and has been for years. Guess you can call it demolished because I'm about 99.9% sure that building is no longer in existence.

Funny thing is that El Chico became just another run-of-the-mill TexMex place later, but back in the day of the restaurant pictured above, it was a pretty fancy place. I remember my parents getting dressed up for a night-on-the-town type evening to go out for dinner there. They didn't take us kids to such a fancy place! Funny to think of El Chico that way, or any TexMex place, but that's how it was back then.

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  • 2 weeks later...
El Chico is gone and has been for years. Guess you can call it demolished because I'm about 99.9% sure that building is no longer in existence.

Funny thing is that El Chico became just another run-of-the-mill TexMex place later, but back in the day of the restaurant pictured above, it was a pretty fancy place. I remember my parents getting dressed up for a night-on-the-town type evening to go out for dinner there. They didn't take us kids to such a fancy place! Funny to think of El Chico that way, or any TexMex place, but that's how it was back then.

Remember Molina's "Mexico City" restaurant? I think the original location was on Fannin or Main - delicious food & perfect atmosphere. I would love to find one of the old menus because for many years, it was a "family tradition" in our family to go there on Christmas Eve. Great pics! I have many good memories of Valian's too.

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  • 5 months later...
  • 6 months later...
6900 South Main

Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The most famous building in Houston.

Demolished :(

Shamrock.jpg

6900 South Main

Trader Vic's at the Shamrock. Excellent tiki! :)

Demolished

TraderVics.jpg

6935 South Main

Vallian's. Houston's original pizza place.

Demolished

Valians.jpg

7021 South Main

Sheriton Oaks Motel

Demolished

SheritonOaks.jpg

7315 South Main

Red Lion Restaurant

Demolished

RedLion.jpg

7707 South Main

El Chico Restaurant

Status?

ElChico.jpg

7900 South Main

Kaphan's Restaurant

Demolished

Kaphans.jpg

7905 South Main

Rodeway Inn

Extant

RodewayMain.jpg

8000 South Main

Car'Lon Hotel Courths

Demolished

CarLon.jpg

These are excellent photos. But it's difficult looking at pictures of restaurants when you're hungry. The Shamrock looks like it was quite an upscale, ritzy place in its day.

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These are excellent photos. But it's difficult looking at pictures of restaurants when you're hungry. The Shamrock looks like it was quite an upscale, ritzy place in its day.

Ashikaga, when you reply to a thread with a lot of photos, would you mind at all deleting them from your response? I'm glad you are so interested in bringing new life to old threads, but just kind of clutters things up.

Thanks.

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  • 3 weeks later...
Ashikaga, when you reply to a thread with a lot of photos, would you mind at all deleting them from your response? I'm glad you are so interested in bringing new life to old threads, but just kind of clutters things up.

Thanks.

I don't see the new reply.

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6935 South Main

Vallian's. Houston's original pizza place.

Demolished

Valians.jpg

I remember eating Pizza was at this restaurant. I was maybe 10 yrs old. I was staying at the Shamrock for a dance convention and specifically remember walking across the street to this restaurant (about 12 of us) to eat Pizza. Wow..what a memory trigger.

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I remember eating Pizza was at this restaurant. I was maybe 10 yrs old. I was staying at the Shamrock for a dance convention and specifically remember walking across the street to this restaurant (about 12 of us) to eat Pizza. Wow..what a memory trigger.

It's a shame that these kind of places get demolished.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I was sitting here trying to remember the name of the restaurant serving to this day, the best pizza I have ever eaten and in "Taking a Walk--" there it was. Valian's could not be beat. Enormous pizzas with crunchy thin crust and pitchers of beer at long tables in the back area.

The Shamrock was pure heaven. We loved the pool and the fine hamburgers at the grill (name?), but the best of the best was The Emerald Room. I saw Charlie McCarthy there as a child and a very young Conway Twitty, when he was not country, but vying to be the next Elvis. There were wonderful UofH Frat balls and other events. You always felt at the top of society just being in that place. One of our teenage challenges was to walk/run up the stairs to the top.

On the night of our High 9 Banquet - graduating from 9th grade at Pershing, a few of us headed to the Shamrock, dressed to the 9's. We slipped into an empty Emerald Room and had our own party. There was a piano in the front and one of the guys played it as we danced about, sang and laughed. An older black gentleman in waitstaff uniform busted us, but was so nice he said we could stay a bit, but had to keep the noise down.

Before it was torn down, I took my teenage daughter to spend the night and it was still ultra posh. The thickest, softest carpets ever experienced and I've been to plenty of mansions in River Oaks.

The pix are super, do you have any of Prince's and Stuart's Drive Ins?

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  • 2 weeks later...
I was sitting here trying to remember the name of the restaurant serving to this day, the best pizza I have ever eaten and in "Taking a Walk--" there it was. Valian's could not be beat. Enormous pizzas with crunchy thin crust and pitchers of beer at long tables in the back area.

The Shamrock was pure heaven. We loved the pool and the fine hamburgers at the grill (name?), but the best of the best was The Emerald Room. I saw Charlie McCarthy there as a child and a very young Conway Twitty, when he was not country, but vying to be the next Elvis. There were wonderful UofH Frat balls and other events. You always felt at the top of society just being in that place. One of our teenage challenges was to walk/run up the stairs to the top.

On the night of our High 9 Banquet - graduating from 9th grade at Pershing, a few of us headed to the Shamrock, dressed to the 9's. We slipped into an empty Emerald Room and had our own party. There was a piano in the front and one of the guys played it as we danced about, sang and laughed. An older black gentleman in waitstaff uniform busted us, but was so nice he said we could stay a bit, but had to keep the noise down.

Before it was torn down, I took my teenage daughter to spend the night and it was still ultra posh. The thickest, softest carpets ever experienced and I've been to plenty of mansions in River Oaks.

The pix are super, do you have any of Prince's and Stuart's Drive Ins?

Here's Stuarts on South Main. Heights2Bastrop had some pictures of the Stuarts on North Main, but the link in the thread isn't working. Maybe he can repost?

I don't have any of Prince's.

Btw, do you remember the air conditioning being piped into your car at Stuarts?

Stuarts2.jpg

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Subdude,

Thank you so much. Now, if we could grab one of Prince's. That A/C into car rings a tinkling of a bell, but I do not know why, we always seemed to go inside at Stuart's for the gumbo, too messy for car, I guess. The specialties at Prince's were the Trout Basket and oh, those divine pre-frosted, heavy mugs of Root Beer.

Bill Williams was for the best Fried Chicken on the planet. Funny how we didn't have segregated food specialty fast food joints, but always ordered the same certain things depending on where we were. Allbritton's on Bissonnet had a fantastic Chicken Fried Steak, see what I mean?

In the 1960's, Safari was our favorite steak restaurant. Incredible ambiance and food. Sheer perfection. By the 1990's, my husband and I discovered Pappas Brothers Steakhouse on Westheimer and were in heaven. Now that place is worth the $100 or so you'll drop for a steak and potato.

One last mention of favorites categories; Cellar Door on Bellaire, near corner of Weslayan. Still, though long gone, the best overall BBQ I've ever experienced. The french fries spectacular, the baked potatoes beyond all others and Boston Cream Pie to absolutely die for.

Well, I lied, here is another I've not seen mentioned, the Normandie in downtown. A pastry cart worthy of Paris with Chocolate Eclairs I couldn't resist.

Crikey, I forgot the thread was Main Street and got off on waxing rhapsodic on food. Forgive me, these belong in defunct restaurants. Oh, well, hungry anyone?

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Don't forget Gaido's at about Main/Murworth and Lee's Den at about Main/Kirby.

Ye Olde College Inn - Main/University

Youngblood's Fried Chicken - Main/University?

Christie's (Seafood) - on Main between University and Holcombe.

Sonny Look's Sirloin House moved from Westheimer/Fountainview area (near The Palm, today) to South Main just north of 610S sometime in the 60's/70's

Also, a long time ago, there was an amusement park with ponies (ala Playland Park) on South Main just across University from the Old Rice Stadium. Probably 30's/40's. It was the same rides that moved further south on Main to just north of Kirby and was there until 10-15 years ago (of course with newer ponies). Also, some of the rides in the newer location came from Wee Wild West on Westheimer about Sage which shut down about 1960-70.

I was told or read that Houston's FIRST airport was at the SW corner of Main and Kirby (near where Kaphan's used to be). Apparently, it was just a large relatively flat area of well-mown grass and I read that the first airplane to land in Houston around 1905-1910 landed there.

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