(NEXSTAR) — It’s time for a trip down the Lone Star State’s memory lane.
Whether it was going out for dinner or picking up some new tennis shoes, a few big Texas businesses that were once household names have gone the way of the dodo.
Here’s a look back.
Remember back-to-school shopping at the home of the “Red Apple Sale”?
The department store’s first location opened in Houston in 1947, before branching out to include stores across the southern United States, including New Mexico and Arizona.
As Houston Chronicle explained, Foley’s operated around 69 stores in five states by 2005 before purchaser Federated Department Stores converted them to Macy’s stores.
The original Houston store, which too became a Macy’s, was demolished in 2013.
Friday nights just wouldn’t have been the same without a trip down the VHS and DVD aisles.
Arguably the most iconic video rental store of all time, Blockbuster Video was founded in 1985 in Dallas by David Cook. At its peak, there were over 9,000 blue-and-yellow stores in the U.S., in addition to several other international locations, Nexstar’s KTLA reported.
Blockbuster was so huge, it once had its own nationally televised awards show: the Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, held from 1995 to 2001.
The company’s dominion was toppled, however, as digital video purchase outlets like iTunes and streaming services like Netflix became the norm.
Oshman’s Sporting Goods
This sporting equipment chain dates back to 1919, when its first store was opened by 19 year-old Jacob S. Oshman in Richmond, the Texas State Historical Association explained. By the 1980s, hundreds of locations popped up across the state and nationwide.
At one point, Oshman’s even owned Abercrombie & Fitch, which it purchased in 1978 for the equivalent of $6.8 million, when adjusted for 2022 inflation.
After years of flagging sales, Oshman’s was finally bought out in 2001. Several Oshman’s stores were converted into Sports Authority stores, all of which have also closed.
Ever heard of this one?
Known these days as one of the biggest business fraud bombshells, Enron was, at its peak, “the largest natural gas and electricity marketer in the U.S.,” TSHA explains. The Houston-based Enron Corporation originally came together through a merger of two companies and was headed by CEO Kenneth Lay.
Enron was highly influential both in Texas and nationwide during its heyday, but things took a major turn in October 2001. That month, Enron reported a quarterly loss of $618 million — the company also announced it was under an official investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for inflating earnings reporting for over a decade, CNN reported.
Later that year, Enron filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The shocker filing was the biggest ever in the U.S. at that time, and was followed by the total collapse of the company amid the discovery of mass financial fraud. Lay and others were convicted for the crimes.
For context on how big the company was at one time: Even after filing for bankruptcy in 2001, Enron still placed fifth on the Fortune 500 list of America’s largest corporations. With the company’s demise, hundreds of lower-level Enron employees lost their entire retirement savings.
The company and its implosion are known the world over and have been the subject of several books, movies and even a stage play.
Steak and Ale
Founded in 1966 by Norman E. Brinker, the Dallas-based chain is considered to have been the originator of the salad bar and an innovator in the “casual dining” space, as University of Houston explained. The Steak and Ale menu, which featured various beef cuts, was hugely successful and spawned a series of similar-tier competitors, including Bennigan’s (also founded by Brinker).
After years of declining sales, all Steak and Ale locations were closed in July 2008. The brand currently belongs to Legendary Restaurant Brands, which also owns Bennigan’s.
Bennigan’s announced in 2020 that it was planning to bring back Steak and Ale with a new location in Cancun, Mexico. While the company said the location was expected to open in early 2021, it doesn’t appear to have happened.
The company said it’s seeking franchisees for U.S. locations. Bennigan’s currently has an “Own a Steak & Ale” section on its website, if you want to be the one to bring it back to Texas!