Archive for the ‘Texas retro, vintage’ Category

Now I’m not in the market for jewelry – but if I was in Austin TX I’d head to Kruger’s Jewelers to buy my baubles, just to say thank you to them for keeping their vintage signage and facade so glorious!

Kruger's Jewelers Clock and Facade

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Built in 1886 The Driskill is the oldest operating hotel in Austin – and rumored to be haunted! This is a first for us. We did not stay here (it’s ultra swanky) but we got to tour around a bit during South by Southwest this spring. Come on along and we’ll show you what we saw!
Driskill Hotel Austin TX


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Built in 1927 and reopened in 2003 the Jefferson Theatre has been through some rough times. But now, as part of the Beaumont Civic Center Complex, things are movin’ on up for this classic theater.

Jefferson Theatre Exterior

(If you want to move on up at the Jefferson, I reckon you could use those stairs on the left, though it might take a while)


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They say everything’s bigger in Texas, and if the size of the sign for the Dot Coffee Shop – and the quantity of food at our breakfast is any indication, they’re right! Located just off Interstate 45 in Houston, TX it’s been a landmark since 1967.

Dot Coffee Shop Mega Sign


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A quick dip off the highway for a kitschy photo op with an oversize roadside giant- a must do on any Retro Road Trip. We had the luck of being just moments away from the Muffler Man (also known as a “Happy Half-Wit“) at Ken Muffler & Break Services in Beaumont, TX.Muffler Man "Happy Half-Wit"


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My pal Leah sent me a wonderful brochure of the great vintage shops in Austin, TX and while I was only able to visit one of them – Cream Vintage on South Congress – it was a RetroRoadmap highlight of our short visit to that hip town.

Cream Vintage South Congress Austin TX
Not only did they have a great selection of affordably priced vintage clothing, but here’s the best part – on-site alterations, practically while you wait!

If you’ve ever been vintage or thrift shopping and tried something on to find doesn’t fit like you hoped it would, this place is a vintage clothing lover’s dream come true! And the price? Tres affordable. Vintage Dress at Cream Vintage Austin TX

I loved a great tiki dress I tried on (perfect for our annual luau) but it was baggy around the shoulders. Usually I’d leave it behind, or buy it thinking, “some day I’ll get this altered” and add it to the pile of clothes that never gets altered. But not here!

Cream Vintage Austin TX Tiki Vintage Dress AlterationsInstead, I walked out of the dressing room and just asked the friendly gal behind the industrial strength sewing machine to help me out (kicking myself for not being able to find her name in my notes, but she was a dear!)

Alterations at Cream Vintage

A few pins here, a few chalkmarks there and within moments we saw how simple it was to fit this mod tog to my own bod.

My Tiki Dress Awaiting Alteration(That’s it, right there- fringe and all! Can’t wait to wear it!)

Another best part of Cream’s on-site alteration service was the turn time. Instead of giving them my mailing address and having it shipped home, they said to return in a few hours and it would be done! This was perfecto because we were going to din just one street over AND there was a cool vintage shirt that I wanted RetroRoadHusband to try on:

Towncraft Shirt - Penney's(Being a BOY his shirt fit perfectly, but they do alterations to mens’ clothing too.)

So while Austin has plenty of vintage stores and I could kick myself for not having time to go to more of ’em I’m SO glad I popped into Cream Vintage. I promise to post a photo of me at the luau in my mod tog!

Cream Vintage South Congress
1714 South Congress Avenue
Austin, TX 78704
(512) 462-3000

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So glad we took a quick detour off the highway near Dallas to eat lunch at Theo’s Drive in in Grand Prairie, TX. If that colorful vintage sign doesn’t get you, the friendly service and delish classic burgers will!

Theo's Drive In Car Hop Service

We pulled up under the checkmark canopy at Theo’s and initially thought we’d go for the classic car-hop experience, as the waitress came right out to our car. However we smartly realized we were barely into a 10-12 hour journey and this meal was our one opportunity to be OUT of the car, so we went into the low slug cinderblock building. Not as picturesque but good for our road moods.

Theo's Drive In Menu

During our Retro Roadtrip I learned that confessing your tourist ways can often bring pleasant results, so when I told the waitress we had never been there and were just passing through, she recommended we get their classic burger. 2 please, with cheese! After seeing this sign on their property I knew what I had to order to wash that down:
Cre Mel Root Beer Vintage SignYep, I got a root beer. Not sure if it was Cre – Mel brand but it was refreshing. I swear I drank more root beer on this road trip than I’ve had in the last 10 years.

Using the downtime waiting for our order, I took a look around the simple building and found evidence of Theo’s history in the grand opening newspaper ad dated 1958. Note the difference in spelling of drive inn and drive in.

Theo's Opening Day(And hey! That’s the canopy that the RetroRoadmobileĀ  was currently parked under! Ah, history)

We were on the early side for the lunch rush, so it was a short time until our burgers came, and I’m telling you, even though this was my 3rd or 4th burger into this trip, it was one of the best one’s I had. Texas rocked as far as burgers go.
Classic Cheeseburger Yum!
While I loved how the bright sun made the colors pop on Theo’s well kept vintage signs I was extra pleased to find these videos of them at night with the neon all lit up! Thank you Vanamonde2 on Youtube for capturing these great vintage neon signs in action.

Theo’s Drive In Restaurant
2626 East Main Street
Grand Prairie, TX 75050-6211
(972) 262-3309

Theo's Drive Inn on Urbanspoon

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It was a happy coinkidink that our first stop in Austin TX was just steps away from Hut’s Hamburgers on 6th street – and bonus points for it being 2 for 1 burger Wednesday when it was time for us to eat between shows!

Hut's Hamburgers Neon Sign

As you can imagine Austin was pretty hopping during our SXSW visit and Hut’s was no exception. But folks were friendly, we found a place to sit and wait while our number was called, and that gave me time to peruse the layers of history, awards and funky finds lining the walls.

Car Hop Wanted and Steer Head(they are on a busy city street now, so no longer in need of the steer head car hop!)

According to a sign on the wall, the building was built in 1939 and originally a Drive-In restaurant called Sammy’s, and went through various renames and restaurant styles before it was named Hut’s in 1969. Don’t worry, there won’t be a quiz! But one thing this tells you is that, in the quickly metropolizing city of Austin, Hut’s is one of the few vestiges of what old Austin was like.

of course there’s more – read on!

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I don’t have a brother, but if I could choose one, it would be Brother Cleve, late of one of my fave bands Combustible Edison, and recent friend of Retro Roadmap! Cleve and I caught up with each other at last Fall, and I just received this e-version of a postcard from his vintage vacation in that big ol’ state known as Texas.

Brother Cleve’s Southern Tip of Texas Tour!

Just back from a road trip in the southern tip of the great state of Texas – we stayed on South Padre Island (whose tourism slogan should be “Where the Gulf Of Mexico Meets The Rio Grande”) on the Mexican border.

hotel-cortez-brother-cleve-retro-roadmap(The Cortez Hotel in Westlaco TX was built in 1928 and was restored in 1998, it now has restaurants, shops, beautiful ballroom and meeting rooms. See it on the Retro Roadmap!)

A trip down the old Route 83 and TX 100 between there and McAllen (where many fly in/out of) had its share of Retro worthy places between the taquerilla and BBQ joints. Nicest town is Weslaco, which has some nice antique stores. South Padre has a few mid-century mod homes like the round pink house pictured.


The Longhorn Cattle Company Barbecue in San Benito (“Birthplace Of Freddy Fender”; he’s painted on the water tower) is some of the best I’ve had in Texas, and I’ve been to almost all the famous ones across the state. Wash your brisket down with some Shiner Bock. Yee haw!


Bobz Seven Seas is one of those weird, giant roadside places filled with more crap for sale that it makes you dizzy just being there (Mod Betty sez ooooh I looove places like that!) Who gathers all the hundreds of thousands of seashells for sale. And who polishes them? I really don’t want to know; I’m just glad the US economy hasn’t sunk so bad (yet) that I have to toil scouring Revere Beach for shells to sell.


Here are even more fab Retro Roadmap worthy shots!

wes-mer-drive-in-texas-brother-cleve-diane-dodge-retro-roadmapThe Wes Mer Drive In in Mercedes TX is still open! Added to the Retro Roadmap!

wells-texas-brother-cleve-diane-dodge-retro-roadmapWells of Weslaco – if that isn’t a Retro Roadmap worthy storefront, I don’t know what is!

gents-club-texas-brother-cleve-diane-dodge-retro-roadmap Not sure I’d go in, but a snapshot? You bet!

Thanks Cleve and Diane Dodge, for our first Texas Retro Roadmap entry and fab photos – can’t wait to share more of your fun retro roadtrip adventures!

Dear readers, please note that Google maps is acting a bit wonky when I try to save these locations to the RRMap, so take extra care when you’re planning your visit to the area, until I can sort this out!

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