Wallace Fuller has walked a tray down the line at Luby’s for what seems like forever.
“At least, that’s what it feels like,” Fuller said. “I’ve been coming to Luby’s for at least 30 years. I like the food. I like the people.”
Fuller and other lovers of Luby's might not be walking through the cafeteria line much longer. According to a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filing last week, Luby’s said it is “expected that most restaurant operations would cease operations under our ownership by the end of fiscal (year) 2021” in August.
Upon hearing the iconic Texas cafeteria chain is preparing to close, Fuller said he felt the same sense of sadness he had all last year, when he watched other longtime joints shutter.
“I hate to have to watch it close, and I wish more people appreciated its simple offerings," Fuller said. "But on the bright side, I’ve got to say I’m glad that Luby’s has been around as long as it has.”
The Houston-based restaurant chain was founded in San Antonio in 1947, and has an Oak Forest location at 11250 Northwest Fwy.
In September of last year, Luby’s, which also includes Fuddruckers restaurants under its corporate umbrella, announced plans for liquidation and dissolution, but left the option open that the company could be sold and continue operations. But according to the SEC filing, "liquidation is imminent."
The fate of the Oak Forest Luby’s is uncertain, according to a manager there.
“When I read that Luby’s might close a few months ago, I didn’t really believe it,” said Kelly Rodgers, an Oak Forest resident. “I figured it was a big corporation and would find a way to survive.”
Kelly, along with her husband, Leonard, enjoy Luby’s for lunch often because it’s not as crowded as other area restaurants. While they haven’t been able to visit much in the last year due to the pandemic, they try to make it out at least once a month.
“The roast beef has always been my favorite, though Leonard used to say he only came here for the Jell-O,” Kelly said.
Leonard joked that it’s harder to watch a place like Luby’s close because it made him feel old, rather than missing the place itself. The couple, who are both in their early 80s, have been in the neighborhood for decades and have seen how it has changed throughout the years.
“I don’t mind the changes,” Leonard said. “I’m not one of those old folks who can’t handle it, but I don’t like it when staples to the area close. It makes me feel like it’ll be my turn next.”
Kelly was of a different opinion. She said she has a harder time accepting changes, and Luby’s would be hard to lose.
“What is that saying? ‘All good things must end’ or something like that?” Kelly said. “This must be one of those things. Luby’s will be missed if it’s gone for good.”