Gulf Fwy. JCI Grill Throws in the Towel After TxDOT Throws Shade on Its Parking Lot

A Swamplot reader writes in to report that the JCI Grill across I-45 from the Home Depot near Gulfgate Mall is now closed. No need to get too close in order to tell; the electronic sign fronting the feeder road gets the message across to highway drivers as shown above. Behind it, you can see the new ramp TxDOT’s been working on to connect 610 eastbound to I-45 northbound — as well as the shadow it’s cast on the restaurant’s parking lot.

A flyer posted on the building says the construction was in part what inspired the closure:


The ramp is labeled number 2 in the diagram below, which indicates a whole bunch of improvements the highway agency is making to the Gulf Fwy.-S. Loop junction. Among them: a new aerial connector on the opposite side of the road linking I-45 southbound to the 610 Loop west (number 1), reconstruction of the existing Reveille St. bridges to cross over the I-610 feeder roads (3), a few upgrades to the I-45 southbound feeder along Gulfgate Mall (5), widening the 610 westbound pavement from Woodridge Dr. to a bit west of Broad St. (4), and upgrades to the ramp between I-45 southbound and Reveille St. (7).

Five years ago, JCI downsized its anthropomorphic hot dog mascot as part of a chain-wide rebranding meant to give off more of a “premium, fast-casual” vibe, company president Darrin Staughan told the HBJ’s Shaina Zucker at the time. It also relegated its original name, James Coney Island, to a less prominent spot on store signage. Legend has it that JCI’s founder James Papadakis won the naming rights from his brother and cofounder Tom based on the results of a coin toss. Born in Greece, the pair started the company in 1923 and kept it in the family until filing for Chapter 11 in 1988 and selling it to a group of local investors.

Photos: Johnny S. (building); Trenda W. (sign); Matthew Castillo (flyer). Map: Hobby Area District

The Dog Days Are Over

7 Comment

  • I’m testing Allyn West and or/ his proof readers / editors to see if they’ll post this ditty. After 95 years , JCI bites the dust at yet another location. Partially thanks to TxDot. The bureaucrats aka the ” gray people ” are jealous, envious, spiteful, covetous and angry they don’t have the mind set to open private businesses. TxDot builds some of the worst ,misguided, head up their rear end boon doggle “make work” never ending projects to ENRICH the architects, builders, contractors, engineers and trades people. And the spineless politicians in both political parties are bought and paid for “special interest WHORES” through “campaign donations” aka barely legal BRIBERY.. Don’t act so surprised and shocked. You ALL know it’s the truth.The whole system is totally stacked against the taxpaying Citizens- you know the ones of vote and shoulder the TENS of BILLIONS in BOND debt !!! That the slimy, sleazy,slick as doo doo saddle us with. ONe day it’s all going to end and and if there is true justice a boat load of politicians and business owners will be doing LOOOOONG stretches in state &/or Federal Prison..Karma is a cruel mistress!!!

  • ^^^This guy loves JCI! Amen, brother. Amen

  • Nothing more than an attempt to create “evidence” of damage by TxDOT so they can sue. In truth, JCIs are poorly visited no matter where they are located.

  • HappyGoLucky, you say the “bureaucrats” are there to “ENRICH the architects, builders, contractors, engineers and trades people” and spite the private businesses. Do you realize the architects, builders, contractors, engineers and trades people are private businesses? Your logic kinda’ falls apart pretty quick.

  • I ate at this location once and it was empty, but SUPER nice. They had cool seats and nice TVs etc. If it was it my hood I would be a regular. The HWY construction did may my coming and going a little dicey.

  • Thats really ashame, that location was very recently remodeled and was very nice, as another people wrote. I hope the bridge and construction does not take out the Pappas Seafood just up the street

  • Several business have close because of the retarded construction project that should have been built 60 years ago