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Woodlake Square Shopping Center Developments


matty1979

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There was Bently's, around back, that was a bar where they had a $180,000 1949 Bentley right next to the dance floor.  This was the 80's.  I can't believe my horrible fake ID got me in there.  I used to take a 13yo girl there named Shelley (can't believe she got in either) and she'd drink Blue Hawaiians (way strong) and I'd drink 151 & pineapple.  We were very, very young, but we could really, really drink. 

 

The big anchors were, before Randall's, a Handy Dandy (I was very, VERY little and barely remember it) and a Save-On Drugs where Walgreens is now.  The Save-On would run a special to get some traffic occasionally of a 2 scoop Blue Bell ice cream cone for 10cents...TEN CENTS.  Even my cheap, uh....frugal dad couldn't say no to that.  I got rocky road. 

 

There was a restaurant called the Hungry Tiger.  There was a restaurant called La Quiche where Rudi Lechner's is now, and I had my first slice of quiche ever there.  I didn't think I'd like it, but I loved it.  There was a Schlotzsky's there, too, just to the left of the Save On and set farther back.  I worked for Swensen's Ice Cream one summer.  It was just to the right of the Randall's. 

 

There was Woodlake Cinema III.  Yep, just THREE screens.  Seems absurd today. 

 

That's all I remember right now!

 

post-12960-0-69308800-1394919649_thumb.j

 

Notice there's only 7 digits on the phone number.  lol

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Excellent post! I noticed that the phone number has only 6 #'s

781-033

I do remember Houston Jewelry across the street and I would often go there with my mom and she would get so mad because I would run right to the toy section and beg her to buy me Star Wars Action figures.

Anyone know who occupied the building before Hooters was there?

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My recollection is that the grocery store was called Handy Andy and it was identical to the store they had on Voss between San Felipe and Woodway (both later became Randalls flagship stores).  I think, tho' I may be mistaken, that Handy Andy was an early attempt by HEB to enter the upscale market in Houston.  

 

Also, I recall that a restaurant there called the "Flying Tigers", or something like that, which I had seen earlier in California.  

 

I don't remember the early bars very well ... maybe I was too young.  In the 80s, I remember going to one and seeing a guy dancing on top of the bar counter (people did this back then :-) who I recognized as someone who worked in the mailroom in my company.  A very handsome black guy who had many good-looking blond girls admiring him ... he was a nice guy and I smile when I remember that.  

 

I ate at Rudy Lechners' from early on, including the sandwich shop next door that his wife ran.  Both places were very good.  They and their family members were very nice to people I knew at work and outside of work.  

 

Edited by ArchFan
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I thought a bit more and remembered some stuff that's really going to date me.

 

Before Woodlake Square was built, I remember riding horses at Westheimer Stables, which at the time was located there.  As I recall, that seemed to be where Houston ended and countryside began, going west.  

 

Later, as Houston developed, Westheimer Stables seemed to keep moving west, at least one or 2 more times.  (My big sister was the horse person in the family, so this is something i just noticed as a bystander.)

 

Later, there was a driving range, a miniature golf place, and (I think) an 8-hole golf course on that land.  Eventually Trammell Crow's company (out of Dallas) developed the shopping center that has evolved into what we see today.

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Handy Andy If I read correctly was a San Antonio based grocery, never very big, pretty much wiped out by HEB, and they were just very recently bought by Arlans Market.

At some point, they did build very large very modern stores, but Randalls ended up buying them. The Randall's Flagship on Voss was a Handy Andy if I recall correctly

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The Handy Andy at Memorial and Dairy Ashford was the first (I worked there in high school), followed by Woodlake, then Voss at about the same time as one up on 1960 around Champions, and perhaps a couple others.  They even had their own store brand of beer - Kassel - that was brewed by Pearl IIRC.  One of their big deals was that the bag boys would walk the groceries out to the customers' cars, and we were NOT allowed to accept tips.

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my wife and I used to go to Woodlake square quite a bit in the late 70s/early 80s. We would go to swensens ice cream, a California outfit I knew from san Francisco that was here briefly. our wedding cake was purchased from handy Andy, they had an in house bakery that made some very modernistic cakes. And in the 80s there was kelso's rendevous, a short-lived blues club I liked a lot.

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  • 1 year later...

Been lurking a while now. West side history almost always interests me.

Woodlake III is where I saw the original Star Wars. I remember the club behind the grocery store but can't remember what it was called when my best friend and I went there in the early 90s. We'd go there, drink, maybe gather up the courage to ask someone to dance, get shot down, and drink some more..

There was a tobacconist in the center that was in the little strip building facing west along Westheimer.

Dallas Holme(sp) Photography was in a courtyard type location behind the grocery store. I remember her either coming to the Junior League or ROBCS to put some etiquette in our heads. That was around 1983/4.

When I was at MHS a friend I convinced our journalism sub that it was okay for us to leave campus to go sell ads. I temember trying to sell space to Lechners. We made a couple sales but when our regular teacher got back she was hopping mad. Hauled us into the hallway and read us the riot act. I was shocked to hear a teacher use the s word, ha ha.

There was a Greek restaurant in the center forever.

My grandmother spent her last years at the retirement home just east of Woodlake. Think Treemont was the name of the place. Better stop before I get off on fun family stuff.

Handy Andy. Forgot about those. I think there was one at Echo Ln and Katy Frwy when I was much younger. The store was in the center where Target and Marshalls are now and was in about the same spot as Marshalls. I remember they had a conveyor belt that delivered the groceries to your car. Mom usually favored the Randall's at Long Point and Blalock or the Safeway where Kroger is now at Echo/Katy. I thought that conveyor belt was the coolest thing. The one at Picadilly Circus in Memorial City Mall ensured I was always willing to take my own tray after eating my way down to the rocket picture on my plate.

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Been lurking a while now. West side history almost always interests me.

Woodlake III is where I saw the original Star Wars. I remember the club behind the grocery store but can't remember what it was called when my best friend and I went there in the early 90s. We'd go there, drink, maybe gather up the courage to ask someone to dance, get shot down, and drink some more..

There was a tobacconist in the center that was in the little strip building facing west along Westheimer.

Dallas Holme(sp) Photography was in a courtyard type location behind the grocery store. I remember her either coming to the Junior League or ROBCS to put some etiquette in our heads. That was around 1983/4.

When I was at MHS a friend I convinced our journalism sub that it was okay for us to leave campus to go sell ads. I temember trying to sell space to Lechners. We made a couple sales but when our regular teacher got back she was hopping mad. Hauled us into the hallway and read us the riot act. I was shocked to hear a teacher use the s word, ha ha.

There was a Greek restaurant in the center forever.

My grandmother spent her last years at the retirement home just east of Woodlake. Think Treemont was the name of the place. Better stop before I get off on fun family stuff.

Handy Andy. Forgot about those. I think there was one at Echo Ln and Katy Frwy when I was much younger. The store was in the center where Target and Marshalls are now and was in about the same spot as Marshalls. I remember they had a conveyor belt that delivered the groceries to your car. Mom usually favored the Randall's at Long Point and Blalock or the Safeway where Kroger is now at Echo/Katy. I thought that conveyor belt was the coolest thing. The one at Picadilly Circus in Memorial City Mall ensured I was always willing to take my own tray after eating my way down to the rocket picture on my plate.

Not sure what part of West Houston you're interested in, but if you like the area in the Copperfield/Bear Creek area and parts adjacent, I would highly highly recommend West Houston Archives. Anyway, it looks like the original anchor of Woodlake was a Handy Andy (which Randalls bought and turned into their Flagship locations). Anyway, there are a couple of things I wanted to say about your post.

- "Piccadilly Circus"?...I think you mean Picadilly Cafeteria.

- I've been inside the Kroger at Echo and Katy, and I do believe it's the only store under AppleTree that remodeled. You can see the original outline of the Safeway before they remodeled it. I went inside there a little less than a year ago. Did it have the neon signage for all the departments like the former Safeway/AppleTree in Bryan that highly resembles the Kroger did?

- The Target hasn't been in the area with Marshalls for over 10 years. As I understand it, Target was built in the early 1970s with an adjacent food store (which may have become Handy Andy later after they parted ways), though in 2003 Target moved to Memorial City Mall and the center was reconfigured and included Marshalls post-redevelopment.

I do wish you'd hang out in HAIF, there are a lot of questions about the I-10 corridor that do interest me, like what the apartments were called that STØR (later IKEA) replaced, or other things. Already I've learned some things like Price Club opening and closing, then Costco (the company it merged with) opening a new store (with a similar footprint and all) just a mile or so already. Memorial City Mall and Town & Country Mall are fun topics, too, there's old topics on them.

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Ha! Can't believe I said Circus, lol.

Before high school Woodlake was kind of exotic for me. One of those places we went to hear and there. Usually passing by to go to the old United store on the southeast corner of Gessner and Westheimer. I think it was United. I remember you'd select your stuff, go pay for it, and they'd send it up front for you to pick up. They had a bit of everything for the home.

I was a Spring Branch/Memorial kid and that history is what I look for the most. Every so often I find myself on Long Point and start time tripping.

I'll ask my sister about the apartments where IKEA is. She's

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She's older and may know better.

I'll post some memories in the relevant topics. I have been looking at West Houston archives. It's a little northwest for me. For the longest time Kempwood and Hammerly was the farthest corner of the world for me.

Before shuffling along and since Carillion is close to the Woodlake center I'll apologize now if anyone here had a red Alfa Romeo Spyder at the club there one night in the early 90s and found it full of menthol shaving cream.

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  • 1 year later...

Yes you are definitely correct about the round polynesian restaurant, along Gessner just north of Westheimer. As a kid in the 1970s I was always intrigued by the restaurant and especially liked the polynesian style torches that were normally lit near the entrance. I remember eating there once for a buffet, and there were plenty of tropical plants inside. As best as I can recall, Don the Beachcomber was the name of the restaurant.

 

Google earth historical imagery shows the polynesian restaurant in a 1978 image but was gone in 1989, so the site was redeveloped sometime in the 1980s.

 

The restaurant adjacent to the polynesian restaurant also had a distinctive theme and design. I'm thinking that was the Hungry Tiger.

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Thanks Max Concrete, I am very excited that I finally have an answer that was in my head for over 30 years as I pass by there once and I saw it and recognized that I had been at Don the Beachcomber Chicago two weeks later and here in Monterrey Mexico, a friend of mine wanted to build a Hawaiian style restaurant and you tell and tell the direction the next day he went to Houston and return that evening with photographs and built here with the same mushroom the Polynesian-style entrance and roof, it is only changed some details like putting large windows and enhance your interior decor, currently still in good condition and operating with great success, I send the website of the restaurant Hawaii 5-0 and photogallery, that only brings a photo from abroad and many of the interior but I will send you several hereby attached youtube videos Don the Beachcomber in USA, very grateful and you have an excellent weekend, warm greetings, Jesus

 

 

 

 

http://www.cincocero.com.mx/hawaii.php

 

http://www.cincocero.com.mx/galeria.php

 

http://www.cincocero.com.mx/platillos.php

 

 

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It is a pleasure to see your comment, proudly here is the almost replica of the restaurant Don the Beachcomber was in Houston it is kept spotless,

as you suggested me I look in Google earth historical imagery 1973 to 89 and did not see the round shape of the roof, you could get a picture of that time or maybe the administration of Woodland square has some history in your files ?, I attached links streetview the restaurant Hawaii 5-0 on Google maps, thank you and appreciate your help

 

https://www.google.com.mx/maps/search/mgomez+morin+y+roble+monterrey+colonia+del+valle/@25.6501475,-100.3589175,274m/data=!3m1!1e3  

 

https://www.google.com.mx/maps/search/mgomez+morin+y+roble+monterrey+colonia+del+valle/@25.6501475,-100.3589175,245m/data=!3m1!1e3

 

https://www.google.com.mx/maps/search/mgomez+morin+y+roble+monterrey+colonia+del+valle/@25.6503876,-100.3584093,72m/data=!3m1!1e3

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  • The title was changed to Woodlake Square Shopping Center
  • 2 months later...

Rudi Lechner's La Quiche was there at 2503 Gessner--it's now Rudi Lechner's German Restaurant but I believe it may have sold a few years ago but kept the name. I've searched unsuccessfully for 40 years to regain contact with Patrice Dubois who worked there and my nose is permanently flattened from hitting brick walls.

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  • The title was changed to Woodlake Square Shopping Center Developments

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