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Luby's — First Headquartered In San Antonio — Will Liquidate Properties And Assets

A serving line at a Luby's restaurant.
Joey Palacios | Texas Public Radio
A serving line at a Luby's restaurant.

Officials with Luby’s Incorporated announced plans Tuesday to liquidate its property and assets to satisfy debts and to distribute the rest to investors. The plan includes the Fuddruckers locations, which Luby’s Inc. also operates. 

The company pegged its property and assets at around $104 million in June but owed $57 million in long term debt and nearly $23 million in lease obligations.  

As of June, 46 Luby’s were in operation in Texas with nine located in San Antonio. There were 17 Fuddruckers locations.

Luby’s has not notified the Texas Workforce Commission of total layoffs but did report 47 headquarter employees were told they would be terminated by October. Officials with Luby’s did not immediately respond to calls or email for comment.

Bob Luby opened the first Luby’s in San Antonio in 1947.  It was a popular stop for families for lunch after church services on Sundays.

Chris and Harris Pappas took over San-Antonio based Luby’s in 2001 and moved its headquarters to Houston.

The brothers hoped to turn around the chain known for its comfort foods and LuAnn Plater.

David Littwitz of Houston-based Littwitz Investments, which handles restaurant real estate sales, said Luby’s cafeteria has simply fallen out of style over the years.

He said they were very popular among families for decades, but time has passed them by.

“Everybody could get want they wanted.  Dad could get a steak, the kids could have mac-n-cheese,” Littwitz said.

He said younger diners want something a little fancier and healthier.

“The last time they were in a cafeteria was in high school… or college,” he said.

He added some older diners that Luby’s relies on are staying home and dining in because of the pandemic.

Littwitz doubts the entire chain will be purchased by one buyer, but rather by a number of smaller buyers in piecemeal fashion, with each Luby’s operating up to point-of-sale.

He said Luby’s large buildings are also a problem for many restaurant buyers who are seeking smaller accommodations.

Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at Brian@TPR.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian.

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Brian Kirkpatrick can be reached at brian@tpr.org and on Twitter at @TPRBrian