Restaurants / Closings

Houston’s Most Infamous Starbucks Suddenly Shutters for Good — H-Town’s Wacky Icons Keep Departing

This Starbucks Across the Street From Another Starbucks Triggered an Epic Rant From Mad Comic Lewis Black

BY // 05.08.20

It is one of those quirky, eccentric things that could only happen in Houston. And it once drove a major comedian mad. It is a Starbucks right across the street from another Starbucks.

Or, at least, was.

For just like the sex shop right next to the gleaming Galleria mall that finally bowed out, Houston’s end-of-the-universe Starbucks is now shuttered for good. Maybe H-Town needs to start a Keep Houston Wacky campaign modeled after that (sometimes annoying) Keep Austin Weird one.

The Starbucks at 2029 West Gray Street in River Oaks Shopping Center — not to be confused with the Starbucks right across the street at 2050 West Gray Street in River Oaks Shopping Center — is no more. Brown paper covers all the windows of the now nondescript space.

James Glassman — the force behind the Houstorian, dedicated to detailing the often anything-but-conventional history of the nation’s fourth largest city — fittingly first noticed the closing and posted it on Instagram. A number of media outlets followed with stories.

After all, this is a unique piece of Houston history, as unconventional as it may be. Its demise deserves to be documented.

Comic Lewis Black — known for his angry rants — once derided this Houston intersection with two Starbucks directly across the street from each as “the end of the universe.” In the bit, Lewis calls the discovery of the double Starbucks “kind of overwhelming, much more so than the discovery that NSYNC was gay.”

If only Lewis knew the half of it. For there was actually three Starbucks within steps of each other at this strange Houston nexus. For there is also a Starbucks inside the hulking Barnes & Noble store right there as well.

“The end of the universe happens to be in the United States,” Black says in his epic rant. “I have seen it. And oddly enough, it’s in Houston, Texas.”

Now, with the coronavirus pandemic sometimes making it feel like the universe actually is ending, Houston’s quirky double Starbucks intersection is no more. First, Zone d’Erotica’s weird juxtaposition with The Galleria. Now, the double Starbucks.

Houston’s wacky iconic markers are headed out the door.

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