Shoppers find respite in sprawling Upper Kirby department store Kuhl-Linscomb

Dan Linscomb and Pam Kuhl-Linscomb opened their store in 2001. (Photos by Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)
Dan Linscomb and Pam Kuhl-Linscomb opened their store in 2001. (Photos by Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

Dan Linscomb and Pam Kuhl-Linscomb opened their store in 2001. (Photos by Emma Whalen/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
Image description
Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
Image description
Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
Image description
Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
Image description
Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
Image description
Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
Image description
Offerings at Kuhl-Linscomb range from clothing and gift items to homewares and furniture.
There are many ways that shopping at Kuhl-Linscomb differs from shopping at a traditional department store, but one of the most notable is the opportunity to drink a margarita at the same time, co-owner Dan Linscomb said.

“With the crazy world we live in, people can just sort of get away from everything and walk and see some nice things, and that’s what we'd like people to do,” Linscomb said. “You don't have to buy anything; just come to the store.”

Linscomb and his wife, Pam Kuhl, approach running their business much in the same way another married couple might host a dinner party. Greeting visitors at the door, welcoming in dogs and offering free drinks are all part of the job. Most hosts, however, do not have to hand out a map as the Kuhl-Linscomb owners do.

The duo bought a 1960s apartment building, repurposed it as a home goods store in 2001 and have since expanded to four surrounding apartments attached by hallways lined with bamboo from the outside. For passersby, most of the buildings making up the expansive campus appear more residential than commercial.

“We're part of the neighborhood. We're dog friendly, and it's a neighborhood store, so people stop in while on a walk,” Kuhl said.
On the inside, shoppers browse through a wide array of products in sections labeled by vintage signs that the couple has curated over years of trade shows and thrifting. Under a “Beauty Shop” sign sit shelves of makeup and beauty products from hard-to-find lines to Drunk Elephant, a cult-favorite skin care brand. A men’s section boasts camping gear, leather goods and Yeti coolers, while the furniture department offers items to fit any room of the house.

The variety of products, the large footprint and the welcoming decor all come together to make shopping at Kuhl-Linscomb a strong competitor for online retailers, Linscomb said.

“If you make it different, if you make it interesting and if you make it an experience, then people will come back it, whether you're a smaller or a larger business,” Linscomb said.

Kuhl-Linscomb

2424 W. Alabama St., Houston

713-526-6000

www.kuhl-linscomb.com

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 1 p.m.-6 p.m.
By Emma Whalen
Emma is Community Impact Newspaper's Houston City Hall reporter. Previously, she covered public health, education and features for several Austin-area publications. A Boston native, she is a former student athlete and alumna of The University of Texas at Austin.


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