IronTiger

Rice Village history

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One of my drinking buddies back in the day always maintained that slogan should've been "over 2 dozen sold, over 1 dozen digested". I always suspected they were being unfairly blamed for his intemperance in other areas.  :P

 

 

I thought they were OK.  Their heyday was between the Hamburgers by Gourmet and Zeke's period and the Goode Company and Beck's Prime period, where they were kind of the only non-chain burger game in the area. (except for the place on Kelvin, which I never went to and wish I had.)   My biggest gripe about them was that, like Five Guys today, they didn't do shakes, only soft drinks.

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I thought they were OK.  Their heyday was between the Hamburgers by Gourmet and Zeke's period and the Goode Company and Beck's Prime period, where they were kind of the only non-chain burger game in the area. (except for the place on Kelvin, which I never went to and wish I had.)   My biggest gripe about them was that, like Five Guys today, they didn't do shakes, only soft drinks.

 

Yeah, I always thought they had a decent burger, and as an undergrad they were a convenient walk from campus on those occasions when we couldn't abide Central Kitchen's haute cuisine.  :)

 

Years after the Village location closed, I used to occasionally go to the I-10 location for old times' sake, which AFAIK was the last remaining outpost until it closed as well. And the one that was catty-corner to the River Oaks Cineplex Odeon was always good for a quick pre- or post-movie meal. 

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There was a half-priced books in an old bldg. I used to frequent in West U. I loved walking through, checking out the details of the place, 1990's, I think it was. I think it would be west of the tapas restaurant, now. Had old display windows & a back loft, balcony, staircase, and a tiny smaller room to the left. Reminded me of those '50's ladies clothing stores at Gulfgate. 

 

It's still there. It's now double the size it was, though, because a few years ago it took over the space of what had been a baby-clothes-and-accessories store.  (Come to think of it, in the late 80s and early ninties,

Rice Village had two baby stores. Was there a baby boomlet in those years?)

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I think you mean El Meson.  It's still there, and still good.

 

It's actually Mexican-Spanish-Cuban. I don't know if the elderly owners I knew are still living, but the husband was a Spaniard, the wife was a Cuban, and the adult son was a sort of Cuban/Spanish/Tex-Mex-American Houstonian. Very nice people, all three of them.

 

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Another quirky Village store I remember from the '90s was a handcrafts shop called Iowa and Guatemala, which sold hand-made folk art crafted by rural Iowans and rural Guatemalans.

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BUMP!!!

IronTiger here with more scans from the Houston Post, 1989 edition! This one covers eight stores from the Village. Most of these stores are gone (couldn't find the modern tenant for Tribes or World Toy) but some are still there: Le Peep (not sure about the other locations) and Pier 1 Imports (who said that they replaced Rice Food Market?). Here it is!

haif_atthevillage.png

It's still there. It's now double the size it was, though, because a few years ago it took over the space of what had been a baby-clothes-and-accessories store.  (Come to think of it, in the late 80s and early ninties,

Rice Village had two baby stores. Was there a baby boomlet in those years?)

Was that "A Woman's Work" or whatever it was called, or a different store?

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Second bump: how long has Sherwin Williams Paint been there? It seems a bit...out of place.

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I don't know how long the Sherwyn Williams store has been there, but that company is certainly a staple of my childhood -- especially their logo.  Although, it is interesting to consider how bad it would be for life on this planet if their paint covered everything :-)

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Looking back on this thread reminds me, El Meson seemed to have started emphasizing Spanish and Cuban dishes more once the son took over.  He seemed like a cool guy, as well as much of the staff.  My only complaint would be that some of the tapas have either been dropped from the menu or else aren't as good as they once were.  That seems to happen with family-owned restaurants that survive a long time, but the owners' attention goes elsewhere.

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I just realized I got my streets completely wrong in an earlier post ( Oct. 2014)  Evans Music was in a small shop on the corner of Kelvin and UNIVERSITY not Rice.  It moved across the street to the strip center on Unversity than ran from Kirby to Morningside...My Dad's American Legion Post 77 was on Kelvin near Amherst on the East side next to a Toy store...Yes the Meyer Bros was on Kirby and University that now houses HPBooks with the circular stairway...I am stuck however on the name of a large store/ building that was located between Times and Amherst, west of Kelvin.  It was located in an area that was East of the notorious Cinema West.  Can some olde timer help another ? :unsure:

Edited by readam

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On 20/10/2014 at 3:38 PM, Rexster314 said:

What was the name of the Mexican restaurant on University?

Before El Meson we went to El Patio there. 

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On 6/2/2015 at 10:02 AM, readam said:

I just realized I got my streets completely wrong in an earlier post ( Oct. 2014)  Evans Music was in a small shop on the corner of Kelvin and UNIVERSITY not Rice.  It moved across the street to the strip center on Unversity than ran from Kirby to Morningside...My Dad's American Legion Post 77 was on Kelvin near Amherst on the East side next to a Toy store...Yes the Meyer Bros was on Kirby and University that now houses HPBooks with the circular stairway...I am stuck however on the name of a large store/ building that was located between Times and Amherst, west of Kelvin.  It was located in an area that was East of the notorious Cinema West.  Can some olde timer help another ? :unsure:

 

The large store you mention between Times and Amherst could have been Rodney's.  I'm an old timer who frequented that area in the mid-50's.

RodneysRe.JPG.fb6a03a74fff2f676465c54f63e28b24.JPG

Edited by 57Tbird

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Rice Village was very different in the 70s and 80s, although University Boulevard has maintained some of its original character. 

 

World Toy and Gift was a huge toy store full of lots of wonders. I believe that the lady who ran the place was a holocaust survivor and even had a number tattooed on her arm. As kids that was something very odd to us. 

 

The Village Theatre was a porn house for as long as I could remember. 

 

My dad bought my mom's perfume - Arpege - at the Five and Dime until he closed his doors when the rent got too high. 

 

The Bead Shop was an awesome place to design your own jewelry and Karl always had a smile on his face. His shop is now on South Shepherd at Westheimer. 

 

The Beautique probably opened in the 80s and Crystal Beauty Shop a few blocks north eventually closed its doors in the late 90s or early 2000s. 

 

Baskin Robbins has been on University for ages and G&G Model Shop eventually relocated to Bellaire I think. Moeller's might have been on Times and is now on Bellaire and they still make the best petit fores (sp?) in Houston.

 

Kegg's was also in the Village until they moved to Meyerland. Sadly, after more than 70 years in business they are closing their doors in July. Best pecan treats (turtles) ever! Good news is that Chocolate Bar is hiring a lot of their staff and acquiring some of their recipes and will be continuing the tradition with some of their favorites. So, ironically, Kegg's is coming back to the Village after all these years. 

 

In the 80s, during college, I worked at the Corn Popper on Times Blvd. We served 30 flavors of popcorn and they were all delicious. I gave my favorite pair of brown suede Capezio butterfly cowboy boots - which are now back in style and on the market - to my manager who subsequently stole from the company and skipped town when I returned to Aggieland in my junior year. 

 

At the northwest corner of Kelvin and University there was a KFC with a perpetual sewage leak on the sidewalk outside. Very gross!!!

 

And where Hungry's now sits there was a Dairy Queen. And when you asked for a plain hot dog they dipped it in mustard and you ate it anyways after your dad wiped it off with a napkin. :)

 

In 1978 St. Anne's had its 8th grade carnival and we went to every shop in the Village and each of them gave us something for our auction. Sadly neither my classmate nor i ever sat down to write thank you notes. 

 

Blue Hand was new at the time and even they donated. 

 

And when we were really young my brothers and I would walk up to Rice Market and for a nickel (or maybe a dime) a machine would dispense a little cup that we would fill with ice and strawberry Fanta and it was the best stuff ever!

 

The Village was one cool place when we were kids with enough action to keep us occupied all day. It wasn't hip or trendy, just a nice place with a bunch of hard-working merchants and a close knit community. 

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I remember The Village Theater differently, although it did go south later on. I saw The Exorcist there in 1973.  I also saw other main stream movies there. My favorite store was Craigs on University. I still remember what the floor looked like and well, everything about it. It had a millinary department!

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12 hours ago, Elbe said:

I remember The Village Theater differently, although it did go south later on. I saw The Exorcist there in 1973.  I also saw other main stream movies there. My favorite store was Craigs on University. I still remember what the floor looked like and well, everything about it. It had a millinary department!

 

I saw it there too.  The line for tickets went all the way around the side to the parking lot.

Did a lot of shopping at Harris' Men & Boys Wear across and up the the street.

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14 hours ago, Lisa64 said:

Baskin Robbins has been on University for ages and G&G Model Shop eventually relocated to Bellaire I think.

 

G&G was still in their original location on Times until last year - they relocated right after Harvey and are now next door to Nan's Games and Comics in the strip center at 59 & Shepherd. 

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17 hours ago, ArtieFufkin said:

Does anyone know if the old sign above G&G's former spot in Rice Village is still up or whether it's been moved yet?

 

Not sure if the sign's been removed, but if it has, it hasn't been installed at the new location yet. I passed by there last night and they still have a temporary vinyl banner up. 

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On 6/9/2018 at 3:59 PM, 57Tbird said:

 

The large store you mention between Times and Amherst could have been Rodney's.  I'm an old timer who frequented that area in the mid-50's.

RodneysRe.JPG.fb6a03a74fff2f676465c54f63e28b24.JPG

That was it. My Mom used to work there when I was a kid. Knew Leonard Wells from there. Later opened his own men's store in the Galleria area (Fowler and Wells).  

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On 6/9/2018 at 3:59 PM, 57Tbird said:

 

The large store you mention between Times and Amherst could have been Rodney's.  I'm an old timer who frequented that area in the mid-50's.

RodneysRe.JPG.fb6a03a74fff2f676465c54f63e28b24.JPG

 

I remember Rodney's well.  It was there through the 1980s.

 

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The Village Theater was showing regular movies at least until August of 1977 when "the Spy Who Loved Me" was showing.  I saw it there at least four times.  A family down the street had me take their kids to see it, and the kids liked it so much that we saw it a bunch of times. 

 

There always was a porn theater around somewhere.  At that time, I think it was near the alley behind the One's a Meal.  I think it moved there from somewhere else in the Village a few years before that. 

 

Growing up there from the 60's to 80's, the Village always struck me as being designed for walking, as well as driving.  It was the same concept that you now see in shopping centers that have the apartments above the stores, (Like The Domain in Austin) except it had houses around the stores and roads so you could also drive there.  As it seems that this would have been a good place for it, a Vespa scooter dealership seemed to open and close every few years. 

 

When I was a kid, we would see the older people walking down the street to go to the market, and walk with them to help carry their groceries home. 

 

Doug

 

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There was also a ceramics studio that was called Mo-Lee's. My wife took lessons there in the early 70's. She later became a ceramic artist when we lived in California.

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