Sorry, Inner Loopers. Consider your bubble burst. Trader Joe's confirmed this morning that its first Houston-area grocery store will be located at the Woodlands Crossing Shopping Center in... The Woodlands.
This news runs contrary to earlier speculation that the California-based grocery chain had set its sights on redeveloping the old Alabama Theater on West Alabama near Shepherd. That plan may still come to fruition in the coming months.
Upon reports last week that Whole Foods Market is opening a Katy location at Fry Road and Grand Parkway, I heard many a Woodlands resident complain that Whole Foods still hadn't opened a location up north. To which I would like to say, "Shut it, Woodlands."
The northern suburb will not only house the first Trader Joe's in the area, but is also home its own Central Market and not one but two Hubbell & Hudson stores -- the only Hubbell & Hudson stores, I might add. The Houston Press named the independent grocery chain Best Grocery Store in our 2011 Best of Houston® awards, but the rest of Houston has yet to get any Hubbell & Hudsons of our own.
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And frankly, I'd rather have a Hubbell & Hudson in Houston before a Trader Joe's. Since The Woodlands is so good at these sorts of things lately, maybe they can toss us a bone.