Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Luby's Cafeteria

For several years prior to closure, the sign had read "Luby's Drive-Thru"

Today's post isn't filler, it's something I actually have content and information for, the late Luby's Cafeteria in Bryan, Texas. Opening in February 1977, it opened at a time when cafeterias were more plentiful, but much like the clientele they tend to service, they've been dying off. No more Piccadilly Cafeteria stores exist in Texas, and even Luby's has been closing far more cafeterias than they've been opening (one opened in Cypress c. 2005, so it may not be a lost cause). Unfortunately, I have no photos of Luby's when they were opening and operating, because it was a Luby's, and the Luby's closing took many by surprise. It closed in April 2014 after a few decades of opening by a mystery owner, which turned out to be Café Eccell, after the drama surrounding it at Church and Wellborn Road, which opened in August 2014 after renovating it.

While Café Eccell has updated a bit (mostly by repainting the drive-through end of the restaurant and opening it as the sub-restaurant La Bodega Express, as well as making it share the roadside sign), Luby's is the one with the history behind it. A full page ad had been taken out for its opening, describing the restaurant that didn't have waiters or waitresses.

You'll feel good about Luby's... selection... Everyone likes what they get, because everyone chooses their favorites. Snappy fresh fruits and crisp garden salads. Hot and hearty entrees. Piping hot vegetables. Home baked rolls and breads. And the taste-temptingest selection of homemade desserts you've ever seen.

This was the only Luby's Cafeteria in the area. There was one in the mall that opened in 1996 but it closed after a while (lasting about five years, or less).

Enjoy the pictures I took in and around the restaurant shortly after closing (and after Eccell repainted it from the whiter color it was originally), taken May 2014.

4401 South Texas Avenue

Editor's Note: Updated 2019 to account for a few new things, including La Bodega Express, the Post Oak Mall location, and others.


je said...

Luby's has been working to modernize their menu to regain customers but their food was so bland for years and it will be difficult to change that image. Most of their restaurants have not had any significant upgrades for years either. There are so many new quick casual restaurants opening around the country that are modern and offer fresh and bolder food than cafeterias. Buffets such as Ryan's Steak Country have been losing market share for years and have a small percentage of restaurants still open. Was this the last Luby's in the area?

Pseudo3D said...

Yes. There used to be a Luby's (formerly a Wyatt) in the mall, but that closed many years ago.

There is a Fuddruckers in the area (and has been in the area also for years), and in circa 2012, a Luby's/Fuddruckers opened in Pearland.

Might be nice to see something like that here and close the existing Fuddruckers....

Anonymous said...

Luby's opened up a new Luby's/Fuddruckers combo two weeks ago in the Clear Lake area near the former Deauville Fashion Mall. I don't know if the new location is replacing any other locations. Anyway, Luby's is still active, but I'm sure that the cafeteria concept is struggling as a whole as je stated. Perhaps you caught this already, but je and I had a discussion about cafeterias on his blog when I noticed a few weeks back that the Almeda Mall Piccadilly Cafeteria closed recently.

Pseudo3D said...

I think on my visit CE had repainted it...the Hullabaloo Caneck Caneck font was originally maroon I'm told...but to be honest, I was always told Luby's had bland food and only old people went there.