A look back: Restaurants, retail and more in Bellaire, Meyerland and West University that closed in 2020

Bare bookshelves greeted Half Price customers March 8, the bookstore’s last day open at its Rice Village location. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Bare bookshelves greeted Half Price customers March 8, the bookstore’s last day open at its Rice Village location. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

Bare bookshelves greeted Half Price customers March 8, the bookstore’s last day open at its Rice Village location. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)

Image description
Urban Outfitters in Rice Village closed down on Sept. 13. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
A Pea in the Pod at Rice Village closed in 2020. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Pier 1 Imports at Rice Village closed in 2020. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals Bellaire shut down in 2020, laying off 126 employees. (Matt Dulin/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
The Express fashion chain closed down its Rice Village location in 2020 amid nationwide closures. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
Image description
A&O Lamp Co. closed down early in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic made its mark on Houston. (Hunter Marrow/Community Impact Newspaper)
With a pandemic coming to Houston, there were many businesses unable to weather the subsequent stay-at-home orders. Some even closed before then. Here is a list of businesses in Bellaire, Meyerland, and West University Place that shuttered in 2020.

A Pea in the Pod/Destination Maternity

Pea in the Pod in Rice Village, 2367 Rice Blvd., and Destination Maternity in the Galleria, 5135 W. Alabama St., closed after their parent company, Destination Maternity, filed for bankruptcy Oct. 21, 2019, and announced it would close stores as part of a restructuring. www.apeainthepod.com

Pier 1 Imports

Local Pier 1 Imports stores in Meyerland, at 110 Meyerland Plaza, Houston, and Rice Village, at 2501 Rice Blvd., Houston, closed their doors in 2020. The closures came amid a 450-store nationwide reduction for Pier 1, out of 942 total, the company announced in a third-quarter fiscal year 2020 business update Jan. 6. www.pier1.com


A&O Lamp Co.

A&O Lamp Co., a family-run lamp, chandelier, fan and furniture company with a decadeslong presence around the West University Place business community, at 3936 Bellaire Blvd., closed in 2020. The lamp reseller closed its doors in January after holding inventory viewings Jan. 9 and 10 with an auction on Jan. 11.

Express

Amid nationwide closures, the Express fashion store in Rice Village, at 2414 University Blvd., Houston, closed down Jan. 26. The fashion chain reduced storefronts nationwide to reduce costs by $80 million over the next three years. www.express.com

Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals Bellaire

Cornerstone Specialty Hospitals Bellaire, at 5314 Dashwood Drive, Ste. 100, Houston, shut down in 2020, laying off 126 employees. The hospital made the announcement in a Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act letter to the Texas Workforce Commission on Feb. 25. www.chghospitals.com

Half Price Books

Citing rising rents, Half Price Books announced it would close its location March 8 at Rice Village, at 2537 University Blvd. The 11,300-square-foot store had been open since 1982. The store had cleared much of its inventory before its last day, as between March 2-6, the store offered a 75% off sale storewide. www.hpb.com

Snap Kitchen

The Bellaire location of prepared-meal business Snap Kitchen at 6700 S. Rice Ave., Bellaire, closed in 2020. The storefront had a lockout notice for unpaid rent dated April 16. The Austin-based company has seven other Houston-area locations, and meal pickup is also available at Whole Foods grocery stores. www.snapkitchen.com

Tropicales

The cafe Tropicales, at 2132 Bissonnet St., Ste. 100, Houston, did not reopen since closing indefinitely in March. “These are unprecedented times and we are grateful for our Houston community,” read the cafe’s latest Instagram post, dated March 17. https://tropicalestx.com

Union Kitchen

Established by Paul Miller of Gr8 Plate Hospitality in 2010, The Union Kitchen, which blends global cuisine with Southern hospitality, closed its location at 4057 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, in March. www.theunionkitchen.com

Urban Outfitters

Lifestyle retailer Urban Outfitters closed down its location in Rice Village on Sept. 13 at 2501 University Blvd., Houston. www.urbanoutfitters.com



By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.