The Old Freaky Foods on Richmond Ave Is Boarded Up and Looking Forlorn


Is there more change coming to lower Richmond?

The former Shell station and grocery at 1810 Richmond Ave known until recently (formally) known as Richwood Market and (informally) as “Freaky Foods” is boarded up and graffiti-tagged:



Next door to venerable and jolly King Cole liquor and catty-corner to the ever-evolving La Tapatia taqueria, Freaky Foods earned its sobriquet less from the wares on its shelves than its clientele, many of whom availed themselves of the fact that, as former Public News writer Mel Sharkskin once put it, “you could buy your rolling papers and Ding-Dongs at 3 a.m.”

Today, nobody’s buying anything inside, although the parking lot seems a favored haunt of a vodka mini-bottle aficionado. (A dozen or so more did not fit the frame.)


The building celebrates its 80th birthday next year; it occupies about one-quarter of this four-lot parcel. Richwood Houston Inc. is listed as the owner and that entity also owns an adjacent lot at 4208 Woodhead St.

Photos: Swamplot inbox

Death Knell For The Shell?

15 Comment

  • Neighborhood civic association involved, perhaps?

  • I remember Freaky Foods! Folks called it that because the clerk had 6 fingers on one hand from what I recall. This was 20 years ago.

  • @Rodrigo- While the Richwood Place Civic Assoc. may be interested since they border this property, this property is outside of their boundary. Richwood ends on the south side of Richmond.

  • I got all my porn-zines there :(

  • I see some little worthless cockroaches have been there with their spray paint.

  • Awwww, I almost got mugged there in 1989.

  • I remember taking a couple of hits of LSD and having a magical shopping experience at Freaky Foods in the early 80’s. I bought Silly Putty. I remember it became an extension of my hand.

  • The night before Hurricane Ike hit Houston, this was the last gas station in Montrose still open. When I pulled in, there was no wait; by the time I had gone inside to pay and buy overpriced bottled water, there was a line of cars. The gas-pump canopy was heavily damaged in the storm. The satellite photo in Google Maps still shows the stripped down frame of the canopy under replacement.

  • @WGE – I remember that. The night before Ike was the only time I ever used that gas station because it was routinely the most expensive gas station in the Montrose area. I always wondered how it stayed in business, given that it routinely charged at least 10 cents more a gallon for gas than any other station in the area.

  • The Montrose transition from freak to chic continues….

  • That store had a great candy selection. RIP.

  • I fondly remember a sign in the cheap beer section..”Black Lebel 90 cents.” Yes it was spelled that way.

  • Let’s hope this gets added to Swamplot’s demolition list soon. There are a lot of eyesores along Richmond, and this is one of the worst.

  • FYI, the King Cole liquor store in the attached (or neighboring) building seems to be still open. At least, the “OPEN” sign was still lit when I drove by a couple days ago.

  • I remember the owners Mr. Restivo and his wife Miss Lillie – think his name was Sam, but as a 60’s kid, all adults had the same first names – Mr., Mrs., or Miss.