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El Pasoans mourn loss of Luby’s cafeterias after decades of remembrances

EL PASO, Texas -- The Texas-based cafeteria chain Luby’s has announced that the restaurant will soon be shutting its doors for good.

In the 24 hours since the news broke, El Pasoans have gone to social media to share their fond memories of the restaurant that will always be known for their family-style comfort food.

For ABC-7's Iris Lopez, Luby's was her choice of restaurant every year to celebrate her birthday as a pre-teen. It became a family tradition for her family. For many locals, going to Luby's was also a tradition for them as well.

“When I would come to visit my folks back in the 80s we would come here,” said PJ Cook, “I was really sad to hear it because it seems to draw such a diverse group of people. Students, older people, Police officers. It’s such a welcoming place. It's a big loss for the community."

State Representative Cesar Blanco went to Twitter to share his feelings on the closing of the Texas-based chain writing, "I'll miss you Luby's," with a photo of the iconic Luby's logo attached to his tweet.

For El Pasoan Michael Calderera, memories of going to Luby's included the downtown El Paso location, "We’ve been coming to Luby’s since I was a little kid,” said Calderera, "Luby's has been here for over 30 years."

El Pasoan Simon Ortega was surprised at the news of Luby's possibly closing their doors permanently, "You go to a Mexican place you only eat Mexican food. You go to a seafood place you only eat seafood. One thing about Luby’s was that they offered a fresh variety of different kinds of food so that makes me very sad,” said Ortega, “After church meals with the family definitely. That was one of the things you would wanna just come and enjoy a good Sunday meal.”

ABC-7's very own Doppler Dave Speelman has been going to Luby's restaurant for over 23 years. For him, Luby's was a favorite not only for it's variety in food choices, but also for the welcoming family atmosphere.

"When I would go in there I would go up to different tables and say, 'Hey how are you doing? I haven’t seen you in a while,' and sit down and talk for a bit,” said Speelman.

Luby’s Cafeteria opened its doors back in 1947 in San Antonio. The chain had 60 locations in the state, and although El Paso is home to several Luby’s restaurants, the only location that remains open is the Luby’s that sits on the corner of Mesa and Sun Bowl near UTEP on the west side.

“It’s really sad to not have a cafeteria in El Paso now. I think this is probably the only one that was left. I hope they can turn it around,” said Cook.

The company that owns the cafeteria chain will be selling the restaurants and assets to pay down debt.

Although this news disappointed many locals, they are all still grateful for the memories Luby’s provided them and their families with over the years.

"Thank you for being so gracious and serving us and keep positive. Everything happens for a reason,” said Ortega.

No timeline on the liquidation has been given yet.

El Paso / Lifestyle / News / Top Stories / Video

Iris Lopez

Iris Lopez is a weathercaster and reporter for ABC-7.



  1. Luby’s in Texas will always be remembered for the mass shooting slaughter at a Killeen Luby’s on October 16, 1991. 23 killed, 27 wounded. However on the bright side it started the concealed carry handgun movement in Texas. The bill was signed into law in 1995 by George Bush. Incidentally the heinous shooter George Hennard graduated from Mayfield High School in Las Cruces. May all the lost souls continue to rest in peace.

    1. Really AlbertVelarde aka Fero2a? You have to politicize this story like you do everything else. We do not care about your agenda and do not need a “history” lesson from you so keep it to yourself. That being said (and poking the bear) I would always meet my best friends at Luby’s for an early dinner and coffee and hours of laughs and great conversations.

  2. A white loner named George Hennard who hated minorities and women. Sound familiar? Horse face Veronica per Madmike. Throw them back across the border per Madmike and his little minions. That breed has a long history. Can’t trust them. Instead albertvelarde, alias for white hiding maggot, talks about gun rights. Lol.

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