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Luby's Will Close This Year. This Is What Texans Won't Forget.

The Luby's restaurant near downtown San Antonio on North Main Avenue.
The Luby's restaurant near downtown San Antonio on North Main Avenue.

Luby's — the cafeteria-style restaurant and homespun Texas institution — will likely close before the end of 2021. Officials representing the company announced plans to liquidate their properties back in September 2020. That liquidation is still happening and it is likely the business will shut its doors before the end of its fiscal year on Aug. 25.

Luby's was founded in 1947 in San Antonio. There are now about 58 locations across Texas according to the chain's Board of Directors.

We asked Texas Public Radio readers and listeners what their favorite Luby's memories are — the hilarious and the heart-warming:

Picture it.

A long time ago.

Luby's at 12405 East Fwy, Houston, TX 77015.

Party: My grandma, her kids and some of the grandkids.

I am in line behind my grandma. She orders liver and onions (who does that?) They PILE it on and now I see her strategy. For one of her sides, fried okra. When the server hands the bowl to my grandma my grandma tells her to add more where her thumb was (imagine holding a bowl and your thumb being slightly in the way). The server added more okra and my grandma said, more. The server complied.

It was on that day I realized the immense power associated with getting older.

Ain't no one gonna argue with a sweet old lady.

— Alicia Richarte

At the Blanco and 1604 location in San Antonio, there was a gentleman there who played piano during dinner. He would play old favorites, ask people to sing along...he even had me go up and play once. He had a trunk next to his piano that was filled with hats. Each time he'd start a new song, he'd put on a new one to match the lyrics. He was the highlight of the occasion.

Eventually, he stopped playing and no one was quite sure where he went. I hope he and his family know that he provided us with a lot of smiles over the years.

— Reed Hartman

I am absolutely heartbroken that Luby’s is shutting down. I used to live in Houston near the Braeswood location, same with my grandparents.

My childhood was spent having lunch there with my grandparents. We went so often that one of the employees basically watched my sister and I grow up (we always liked sitting in her section, very nice lady). I recall frequently getting the liver and onions and cornbread. My grandpa always got the carrot slaw and shared it with me.

— Joey Feldman

Circa 2005. Group of 16 teenagers on a mission trip ate so much for dinner that the Luby’s in Weslaco, Texas ran. out. of. food.

— Jeanna Balreira

As a little girl I would hate tagging along to Luby's with my mom and sitting beside her as she happily ate her fried fish or liver and onions. I had my usual of chicken strips with mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese. Double carbs at its finest.

I never thought the day would come when as an adult woman with my own family, I would follow in my mom's steps into Luby's. Walking in, reading the special of the day knowing good and well I had my heart set on anything with gravy. Grabbing my tray, my silverware rolled up in a dinner napkin and looking at the delicious home style comfort food that never changed over my many visits to Luby's. Those visits spanned decades and generations. My family and I would walk in and the familiar smell of buttered rolls would hit, the simple yet delicious desserts arranged so nicely we hated to grab one, the old fashioned cash registers that let our change roll down the side on a slide made for our quarters, nickels, dimes and pennies.

We will miss it all. It's not just about the LuAnn platters, the food and the smiling faces that worked the line. Luby's was what we had when we wanted the warm feeling of a home cooked meal, we'd gather at a table in a booth, enjoy the service and the food, and leave full and happy. They will definitely be missed. I'm glad I got to take my little girl to Luby's, I love that she enjoyed every bite and that we had that moment.

— Elizabeth Botello

If you'd like to submit your own Luby's memories, send an audio recording, email or photos to today@tpr.org.

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Copyright 2021 Texas Public Radio. To see more, visit Texas Public Radio.

Elizabeth Botello's daughter enjoys her first trip to Luby's in 2018.
Provided /
Elizabeth Botello's daughter enjoys her first trip to Luby's in 2018.