Friday, November 14, 2014

North Oaks Mall Houston Texas

North Oaks Mall and Westchase Mall are twin shopping centers that were both developed with small mall corridors. The malls were developed in either the late 1970's or very early 1980's. Both malls were very small corridors that had a few small shops between the Target and center entrance to the mall. 

Today we will feature North Oaks which is located at FM 1960 and Veterans Memorial. 

A few former big-box stores at the mall were. 

Drug Emporium
Pic N Save
Solo Serve Stores

North Oaks has been through many changes over the years but still remains very successful. Several nearby shopping centers have struggled to retain tenants, but North Oaks is nearly full and continues to fill empty shopping center spaces relatively quickly. Very little information about this mall is available online so as always comments are appreciated. 

Here is the rest of the shopping center across the street. 

A look into the remaining mall corridor which is the entrance to the North Oaks 6 Cinema. All of the small shops have closed or were absorbed into a large retailer space. At Westchase this area has been completely absorbed by larger stores.

A MacFrugal's sign on the Big Lots entrance to the mall shows the age of this corridor. 


  1. Wow, thanks for this post. I've been waiting over a year for your post about North Oaks Mall since we initially discussed the place last year. I was really excited when I saw that this was posted. The pictures are great.

    The remaining mall corridor that leads to the theater is terrificly retro. The theater looks retro, but the tile, ceiling, dark lighting, and wood paneling add to the retroness too. The MacFrugal's sign does not hurt the retro feel either. I wonder if this is the last MacFrugal's sign in the Houston area. In case anyone is wondering, the mall entrance to Big Lots has been closed for many years now. I think the mall entrance was still open at some point when it was still called MacFrugal's, but I don't remember exactly when it closed.

    Anyway, the mall corridor may look decently lit in the photos due to the proximity to the doors, but the inner part of the corridor was very dark looking if I remember correctly. Of course, that was common back in that era and the colors of the tile and such contributed to that.

    There have been so many stores that have come and gone from this shopping center over the years, but I'll try to put down what I can remember. The area that is now Staples and Hobby Lobby was Target up until around the mid 2000s when the FM 1960 and Cutten Target opened. The Target had a mall entrance up until around the very early 1990s. I probably brought a lot of things at that Target over the years, but one memory is getting Wonderboy in Monsterland for Sega Master System there. That ended up being my favorite SMS game.

    The Ross was formerly Solo Serve and has been at the center for around 20 years at this point. The theater area used to have a popular arcade back in the day. The Big Lots/MacFrugal's was I believe a TG&Y before. It may have been a Pic-N-Save too like the FM 1960 and Jones Rd. Big Lots, but I can't remember. The TJ Maxx has also been around for a long time and I think it was a Weingarten's grocery store before, but I could be wrong about that. There was a Wyatt's Cafeteria at the far east end of the center. That part of the center has a couple of eateries in it now. The center also has many stores in outparcels. One former outparcel store that I remember very well is Egghead Software that eventually relocated across Veterans Memorial.

    As for the part of the center across Breck, the Anna's Linens used to be a Handy Dan and eventually Drug Emporium. The Mardel used to be a Marshall's. AAA used to be a Klein Bank I think. There used to be a Godfather's Pizza on the FM 1960 side of the center.

    Although the center is not a mall now, it has a more eclectic mix of stores than many malls. Half Price Books and the Bedrock comic book store are certainly two interesting stores that compliment each other well. The mix of stores and the discount theater all add up to this center remaining a hot spot after all these years even though few people probably remember or know about it being a former mall.

    1. Thanks for sharing more of the history of this center. I missed getting pictures of the outparcels and there are a bunch there that add to the mix of stores at this center. I have been back twice since taking these pictures just to go the Half Price Books. One thing that I forgot to mention is that the mall corridor is blocked off just past the entrance to the cinema where is led to Target. All that is left is the area I photographed and a small area that leads to the back exit of the mall and more parking.

  2. Wow, even more mini-malls in Houston than I originally thought. Here's another one, in Webster, not sure if you have it or not--noticed remains of an interior corridor just south of Bay Area Blvd. and Interstate 45.

    1. Are you talking about the shopping center where Bed Bath and Beyond is located or the one where Marshall's, Sun and Ski Sports and DSW is at? The Bed Bath and Beyond center one was a Deauville Mall featured here

  3. This was the mall of my youth during the late 70s and early 80s. In addition to the North Oaks 6 theater where I saw Return of the Jedi at least 10 times in new release, there were a number of other businesses that catered to the kids and teenagers in the new subdivisions nearby. I remember a Shannon's Sun Shop, an Iron-on T-Shirt shop, B. Dalton books, a candy store by the theater, an Aladdin's Castle arcade, and a D&D game shop of some kind. Many hours spent there. There was a Weingarten's grocery, and Eckerd's Drug, and a Wyatt's Cafeteria down near the Steubner Airline side of the mall. We only got into trouble a few times, once at the Target, and once across Breck at Godfather's Pizza we were asked to leave. All of this was long before North Oaks 6 became a dollar movie, and way, way before Half Price Books or any of the other businesses moved in.

    1. Thanks for your comment about the inline tenants at the mall. Not many people know about the history of this mall. Shannon's is still in business in a shopping center near Willowbrook Mall.