Rice Village, 1980

Loyal reader Marty Merritt sent in this 1980 map of the village, which unlike yesterday’s map appeared in the Newcomer’s Guide rather than the Thresher. This looks rather more familiar although most of it is still gone:

You’ll note that this is also a much more comprehensive map than the 1968 version. Another regular reader noted in an email that the reason is likely that the earlier map only showed the locations of advertisers, whose numbers were fairly thin in 1968 because of the strident politics that dominated the paper at that time. That seems like a pretty good theory to me.


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18 Responses to Rice Village, 1980

  1. Paula Desel says:


  2. I count seven bookstores! I’m including “books and cards” and not including the newsstand, though that is cool, too. I remember the Curtis-Mathes store, with overpriced fancy TVs. I remember the name “Dromgoole’s”, probably from Thresher ads. I know I went to University Men & Boys for something around graduation time, but I have no idea what. Maybe I needed a white shirt.

  3. From a quick scan of the Google map, Dromgoole’s (“est. 1961”) and the Houston Numismatic Exchange are still there.

  4. J Cameron Cooper says:

    The Collegiate Cleaners, El Patio, Animal Hospital, and (probably) British Isles are still there too. Kinkos is not in the same location, but the FedEx Office at Rice and Kelvin is a direct successor.

    G&G Model Shop just moved to 59 and Shepherd (I think the same place where Times Barbershop is now), but the sign is still up. The Bead Shop moved 2011. Alyson Jon Interiors is now over on Bissonnet. Wellhausens closed sometime in the last decade; my diploma was done there. I dearly miss the Wagner Hardware, which was a late holdout. Rice Foods lasted for a while, too.

    Interesting to see Chaucer participating in the Village; it’s pretty much absent from commerce now.

  5. James Medford says:

    I bought a suit at University Men & Boys in 1982 so I could go to Esperanza in style.

    I remember Half Price Books being in its current location when I arrived at Rice in 1981, so its absence from the 1980 map indicates it must have just opened when I arrived.

    I doubt anyone will admit they patronized either the Village Theater or the Art Cinema around this time.

  6. marmer01 says:

    I’m not sure that Half Price Books was in the Village by ’81. I thought it was much later. For a long time that end space was Fu’s Garden Chinese Restaurant. I do remember Dairy Queen where Hungry’s is. (and until they rebuilt, it was obviously a former Dairy Queen.) Chaucer used to have a lot of small businesses in old houses. Provine Studios was a photography company specializing in school pictures. I remember University Men’s and Boy’s (Ed Nirken’s) having a lot of really old-fashioned, polyester-y clothes. If you wanted Sansabelt slacks and golf shirts with penguins, that was your place. A great many Rice guys went to Village Theater and Art Cinema. Art Cinema was teeny-tiny and spare, but the Village was a nice MacKie and Kamrath building with a substantial lobby and glass concession counter. There was about a yearlong effort to turn it into a live theater venue in the late 80s but it came to naught.

  7. James Medford says:

    Fu’s Garden was next door to Half Price. Per their website, Half Price opened in Rice Village in 1981.


  8. Mr. Richardson says:

    Don’t forget about places that opened just a couple of years later like Poor Man’s Country Club (in an old gas station building I believe) across from Village Theater and Sheer Insanity (somewhere just down from Half Price), Charlie’s Hamburger Joint (where Torchy’s is now) and The Ginger Man with its big yellow awning out front!

    • Charles M Hargrove says:

      The Poor Man’s Country Club was some other place in the Village before that. I can’t remember where exactly but I remember going down to it when I was maybe 6? with a good friend. They had a can crusher mounted on the wall. I was later told not to go back by my parents.

      • Beavis says:

        Yes they did. Man I loved that place growing up. I have been going back and forth with my parents on this. I swear it was at the location labelled Village Grocery next to the bike shop, before that became Charlies. I can picture where the shuffleboard and beer cooler was, and Lena had her window at the back. Not too different from the layout at the new place, just rotated to fit the building. But my Dad said it was across the street, originally just a trailer, near “Yesterday’s Restaurant”. Driving me crazy trying to remember as i spend hours browsing Texas BBQ images online from San Diego lol.

  9. Mr. Richardson says:

    Was Tamale’s (restaurant) not there yet? It was on the corner right next to Half Price Books (where Fu’s Garden eventually went) and I remember eating there in the early 80’s. Also, didn’t Rainey Days Bar & Grill eventually become The Village Café (which later became Bike Barn)?

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