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Luby's/Wyatt's/Piccadilly Cafeteria's


northbeaumont

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Now that we're on the subject of eating establishment, I've started remember cafeterias. I remember going to the Piccadilly in Parkdale Mall once back in the 1970s. The Luby's on North 11th Street in the Gaylynn Shopping Center closed down but a new one was built just up the street on the corner of North 11th Street and Interstate 10. In Port Arthur, there was a Luby's in Jefferson City Shopping Center for many years. It's now closed down but a new one was built just a few blocks from it on the corner of Twin City Highway and Texas State Highway 73. There is also a Luby's in Central Mall in Port Arthur.

About 10 years ago, a Luby's opened up over in Orange on the corner of IH-10 and MLK Drive. But it closed down in less than five years. The building is still standing. I'll never understand business, to construct and open up a Luby's just to close it down in a few years. Go figure.

Also over in Orange, there used to be a Wyatt's Cafeteria in Northway Shopping Center. It's now been closed down for quite awhile. There was a Wyatt's on Gulfway Drive in Port Arthur, but it also bit the dust. The only one that I remember here in Beaumont was in the Gateway Shopping Center. At different times in the past, I do rembered going to all of those Wyatt's.

Those cafeterias served what I would call good, "American" dishes. I remember liver & onions, fried/baked chicken, rolls, glasses of iced tea, etc. If all three chains aren't over there in Houston, then I would think that at least two of them are. I'm pretty sure that someone will tell me if I'm right or wrong.

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Those cafeterias served what I would call good, "American" dishes. I remember liver & onions, fried/baked chicken, rolls, glasses of iced tea, etc. If all three chains aren't over there in Houston, then I would think that at least two of them are. I'm pretty sure that someone will tell me if I'm right or wrong.

I always loved the white rice with brown gravy and the steaming hot turkey. They seldom offer as a dish anymore on the menu. If your lucky and know the manager he can have someone heat up and take to your table. Wyatts was just as delicious and well kept up. Last Wyatt's I remember visiting was across the street from Pasadena Town Square I think? Reasonable prices too! We still have Dinner Bell Cafeteria over here. You ring your little bell and they wait on your table. Fun days. :lol:

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Those cafeterias served what I would call good, "American" dishes. I remember liver & onions, fried/baked chicken, rolls, glasses of iced tea, etc. If all three chains aren't over there in Houston, then I would think that at least two of them are. I'm pretty sure that someone will tell me if I'm right or wrong.

I always loved the white rice with brown gravy and the steaming hot turkey. They seldom offer as a dish anymore on the menu. If your lucky and know the manager he can have someone heat up and take to your table. Wyatts was just as delicious and well kept up. Last Wyatt's I remember visiting was across the street from Pasadena Town Square I think? Reasonable prices too! We still have Dinner Bell Cafeteria over here. You ring your little bell and they wait on your table. Fun days. :lol:

Unlike a restaurant where you didn't know what you were getting until the waiter/waitress brought your meal to you, in those cafeterias you could look, see, and pick out exactly what you wanted. In the dessert section, I distinctly remember the fancy glass container of Jell-O and pudding with the squirt of whipped cream on top. Then you'd go to a table, unload all of your dishes while a waitress took the tray.

Then you might buy a York's Peppermint Pattie Mint from the cashier, and get a toothpick. Then you'd walk out the door literally stuffed.

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there's a wyatt's on griggs near cullen, but not sure if it is still in business

if memory serves, there was also one in meyerland plaza pre-remodel

I just looked on a website called Openlist.Com. It says that no Wyatt's are listed. It lists one Piccadilly located at 7750 West Bellfort Street.

But it lists four Luby's at:

6223 Bellaire Boulevard

12121 Westheimer

1725 Post Oak Boulevard

10314 East Freeway

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I remember eating at the Wyatt's at the old Westwood Mall, back in the day, when I was a kid(The early 90's). It was located just off of the main entrance of the mall (the big glass thingy).

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The two Wyatt's I used to eat at most frequently were the one at 45 & Little York next to Grant's (before that space became Big Texan Lanes), and the one at Merchants Park.

There's still a Piccadilly open at Northline Mall - it's been there as long as I can remember, possibly since the mall opened, and they still do a very good business. The one at Northwest Mall closed a couple of years ago as part of a corporate restructuring.

I'm still irate that Pappas closed Luby's No. 1 on Buffalo Speedway. The building is still vacant, the last time I drove by there. I'll never understand how they couldn't manage to do well in that location, especially after the huge retirement community was built practically next door!

The Dinner Bell on Lawndale is great - that's my choice for cafeteria food these days, even though it's a bit of a drive from where I live now.

Edited by mkultra25
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Those cafeterias served what I would call good, "American" dishes. I remember liver & onions, fried/baked chicken, rolls, glasses of iced tea, etc. If all three chains aren't over there in Houston, then I would think that at least two of them are. I'm pretty sure that someone will tell me if I'm right or wrong.

I always loved the white rice with brown gravy and the steaming hot turkey. They seldom offer as a dish anymore on the menu. If your lucky and know the manager he can have someone heat up and take to your table. Wyatts was just as delicious and well kept up. Last Wyatt's I remember visiting was across the street from Pasadena Town Square I think? Reasonable prices too! We still have Dinner Bell Cafeteria over here. You ring your little bell and they wait on your table. Fun days. :lol:

I remember back in the 60's and 70's the Dinner Bell had the best strawberry shortcake ever! That was our friday night treat, to go stand in line at the Dinner Bell and try to peak over the wall past the fake greenery to see what other people were eating. I always got the baked fish, mashed potatoes and strawberry shortcake. They had a glass case at the checkout and you could buy a little bell for your very own. We always ate on the side where the front door was and I always wanted to get a peek behind that huge accordian door but I never got the chance.

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I grew up in Dallas where we used to always go to Furr's Cafeteria. It later became a Luby's, but my parents and I used to go there for Thanksgiving and Christmas so my mom didn't have to cook. My dad didn't care for a la carte, but he sure did enjoy any place that offered a buffet.

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Here's the history of Luby's from the website: http://www.lubys.com/06aboutusHistory.asp

Looks like they have about 33 locations in the Houston area.

The first cafeterias in Houston from this company were called Romano's. Here's a clipping (partial) from a 1961 Chronicle Dining Guide that may explain why:

"...the entire family en .... ing Luby's, loated at .... Gray and S. Shepherd...a complete line of en .... nd fresh, tasty vegeta ... the menu everyday .... are another speciality at .... where the diner has .... han 20 varieties from .... he can make his choice. ...er dinner treats try the .... is the desserts prepared fresh .... or Luby's cafeteria cus .... The diner has a choice ... cakes and a number ... er dinner treats here. ...afeteria is open ... h Saturday from 11am ... :30pm and from 4:30 ... ntil 8:30 pm for the din .... de. Sunday the cafete .... ains continuous serv ... m 11am until 8pm."

I don't remember a Luby's on W. Gray @ Shepherd; that is the only location given for a Luby's in the guide. Was there a locally based Luby's before the group from San Antonio came in?

There was a Wyatt's in Sharpstown Mall.

The Piccadilly on W. Bellfort does a booming business.

Edited by brucesw
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I seem to recall that Luby's sold some of their cafeterias fairly early on, and part of the agreement was that Luby's-owned cafeterias could not bear that name where non-Luby's owned cafeterias existed. This is the reason for the "Romana Cafeterias", which were identical to Luby's (even down to the little girl on the logo).

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We used to jokingly say, "want go for a Furr burger."

And there used to be a Picadilly's in Greenspoint Mall. Only went there once. 'Bout sums it up for the quality of their food. Oddly enough, the one in Northline Mall was pretty good. Used to go there with my grandparents alot.

Edited by Firebird65
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There's still a Picadilly's at Almeda Mall...I ate there with my family for Thanksgiving last year. Same ol' same ol'. Not bad, but its quality doesn't match up to Luby's since Luby's upgraded their menu. Of course, the prices don't match Luby's higher prices either.

And the Wyatt's on Griggs is still open. I have never eaten there, but I drive by it regularly. I might just have to stop by for a meal this afternoon, then get some hair at Modern City!

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Anyone been to Cleburne Cafeteria on Bissonet? I've never been there but have heard for years it's excellent. I don't think it's a chain of restaurants so maybe you can't compare it to the others mentioned here.

We used to go there sometimes and on occasion see Dave Ward (channel 13) having dinner in a discreet corner. Is that the aroma of hot steaming roast beef I smell? Yum! :P

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There's still a Picadilly's at Almeda Mall...I ate there with my family for Thanksgiving last year. Same ol' same ol'. Not bad, but its quality doesn't match up to Luby's since Luby's upgraded their menu. Of course, the prices don't match Luby's higher prices either.

And the Wyatt's on Griggs is still open. I have never eaten there, but I drive by it regularly. I might just have to stop by for a meal this afternoon, then get some hair at Modern City!

There's a difference that I just thought of between cafeterias and restaurants. In a cafeteria you see then select the food you want, then you go to a table and eat it, sometimes all of it, unless you're starving and your eyes are bigger than your stomach.

In a restaurant, you're given all of those appetizers. Some people fill up their stomachs on those things and they're no longer hungry when the main dish that they ordered is brought to them. Some are too embarrassed to ask for a "doggy bag" to take home that which they don't eat, so they leave it for the garbage disposal to consume. I believe that less food is consumed by garbage disposals in cafeterias.

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Some are too embarrassed to ask for a "doggy bag" to take home that which they don't eat, so they leave it for the garbage disposal to consume. I believe that less food is consumed by garbage disposals in cafeterias.

I've never been ashamed to ask for a "doggie bag"...even in the nicest restaurants. Hell, if I'm paying good $$$ for it, I'm gonna enjoy it, whether it's at the restaurant or back home sitting in front of the TV!

Leaving food on the table is the same thing as throwing $$$ on the ground, as far as I'm concerned.

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I've never been ashamed to ask for a "doggie bag"...even in the nicest restaurants. Hell, if I'm paying good $$ for it, I'm gonna enjoy it, whether it's at the restaurant or back home sitting in front of the TV!

Leaving food on the table is the same thing as throwing $$ on the ground, as far as I'm concerned.

I agree 100%. But the older I get, the less I eat out, in addition to other things. I'm now starting to see that there is no point in paying $20 for a meal in a restaurant when I can get something out of my cabinet that will do the same thing (fill up my stomach) for about 10-20% of that amount.

Really, 1997 was the last time that I went to Luby's or to any other cafeteria for that matter. But I still remember the pleasant experience and the good food.

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Anyone been to Cleburne Cafeteria on Bissonet? I've never been there but have heard for years it's excellent. I don't think it's a chain of restaurants so maybe you can't compare it to the others mentioned here.

Cleburne is good but portions are humongous. To me part of the reason for going to a cafeteria is to get a variety of items. An entree, 1 side, at the very most 2, a bread and beverage and that's already too much for me. Doggie bags are readily dispensed, however. I can't even look at their desserts. Pricey for a cafeteria, too. I prefer Harry's on Tuam - smaller portions, more modest prices, good food, better people watching.

Cleburne is one of Houston's oldest restaurants, dating to 1941 downtown on Cleburne at Fannin. There's a history and link to a NY Times write-up on the website:

http://www.cleburnecafeteria.com/

Edited by brucesw
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I prefer Harry's on Tuam - smaller portions, more modest prices, good food, better people watching.<<brucesw

I love Harry's and have eaten there since the early 80's although not as much now since I moved to Katy. I really liked their old building with the squeeky floors and somewhat seedy appearance. The new building is nice, just not the same ambiance in my opinion. The food is still excellent though.

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I seem to recall that Luby's sold some of their cafeterias fairly early on, and part of the agreement was that Luby's-owned cafeterias could not bear that name where non-Luby's owned cafeterias existed. This is the reason for the "Romana Cafeterias", which were identical to Luby's (even down to the little girl on the logo).

seems so:

lubysromanamb.jpg

romana03mb.jpgromana02mb.jpg

romanamb.jpgromana01mb.jpg

Edited by sevfiv
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seems so:

lubysromanamb.jpg

romana03mb.jpgromana02mb.jpg

romanamb.jpgromana01mb.jpg

Wow! I had completely forgotten about that Romana logo with the little girl. A lot of other businesses and items I remember had a person as part of it logo. I remember Sunshine Cookies had a robust baker (maybe it still does). I also remember Ramada Inn (now simply called Ramada) had a rotund inkeeper holding a long horn with a flag attached to the bottom with the words "RAMADA INN."

One of the things that I liked about cafeterias is that most of them didn't sell beer. They had a family atmosphere.

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I seem to recall that Luby's sold some of their cafeterias fairly early on, and part of the agreement was that Luby's-owned cafeterias could not bear that name where non-Luby's owned cafeterias existed. This is the reason for the "Romana Cafeterias", which were identical to Luby's (even down to the little girl on the logo).

Interesting. The website history says they didn't enter the Houston market until 1965.

I don't remember the Kopper Kettle or Suzanne from Subdude's post cards but here's another one I do remember, from the Chron Dining Guide (partial):

"L-C Cafeteria - .. A seating capacity of ... ons, the L-C Cafeteria ...ged by Jerry Karisty ...said to be the largest ... ial cafeteria in the ... located with entrances ... at Walker and Travis ... er it is open for break .... nch and dinner. Featur- ...widest variety of foods. ... specializes in Kentucky ... icken, a lunch for less .... cents and a ribeye .... for $1.35. The cafeteria ... its own pastry shop .... tries served there and ... e-out trade.. There is .... of room for banquets ... ies. Continuous service ... :30 to 8:30 pm daily .... Sunday."

I remember going there once, ca. 1963, when I was on my own in Houston for the first time. Seems to me there were 2 long serving lines.

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"L-C Cafeteria - .. A seating capacity of ... ons, the L-C Cafeteria ...ged by Jerry Karisty ...said to be the largest ... ial cafeteria in the ... located with entrances ... at Walker and Travis ... er it is open for break .... nch and dinner. Featur- ...widest variety of foods. ... specializes in Kentucky ... icken, a lunch for less .... cents and a ribeye .... for $1.35. The cafeteria ... its own pastry shop .... tries served there and ... e-out trade.. There is .... of room for banquets ... ies. Continuous service ... :30 to 8:30 pm daily .... Sunday."

I remember going there once, ca. 1963, when I was on my own in Houston for the first time. Seems to me there were 2 long serving lines.

Correct you are! There were always the 2 long serving lines to take in the BIG flow of downtown shoppers.

The L-C sign still hangs to this day but is covered up. Last I recall eating there was after coming from the matineee down the street. This was when DT was not much to be desired as the city grew west. Had to be around 1974-1975. You were lucky to find a table as it would get so crowded, seems almost dream like now.

I clearly remember Romana Cafeteria too, because I had an aunt named Romana. We kids would shout "Mom were ready to vist Aunt Romana's Cafeteria! " Great memories :)

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We had all 3 in Baytown at one time in the 80's. Growing up I always liked Wyatt's the best. It just felt different. There was also an Aroma's cafeteria that opened up, that was actually better than all three combined, and then it burned down about 3 years after it opened. INSURANCE FRAUD ! It never reopened, apparently some mob ties with that joint, but it was really good.

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Here's the history of Luby's from the website: http://www.lubys.com/06aboutusHistory.asp

Looks like they have about 33 locations in the Houston area.

The first cafeterias in Houston from this company were called Romano's. Here's a clipping (partial) from a 1961 Chronicle Dining Guide that may explain why:

"...the entire family en .... ing Luby's, loated at .... Gray and S. Shepherd...a complete line of en .... nd fresh, tasty vegeta ... the menu everyday .... are another speciality at .... where the diner has .... han 20 varieties from .... he can make his choice. ...er dinner treats try the .... is the desserts prepared fresh .... or Luby's cafeteria cus .... The diner has a choice ... cakes and a number ... er dinner treats here. ...afeteria is open ... h Saturday from 11am ... :30pm and from 4:30 ... ntil 8:30 pm for the din .... de. Sunday the cafete .... ains continuous serv ... m 11am until 8pm."

I don't remember a Luby's on W. Gray @ Shepherd; that is the only location given for a Luby's in the guide. Was there a locally based Luby's before the group from San Antonio came in?

There was a Wyatt's in Sharpstown Mall.

The Piccadilly on W. Bellfort does a booming business.

Interesting history. I didn't major in any field of business which is why I don't understand the progression from Luby's to Cafeterias, Inc., to Luby's Cafeteria's, Inc., etc. I've learned never to start getting used to any business keeping its name for very long. The next thing you know they will have merged with some other business and their name will have changed. I guess that Luby's kept its name because it was named after the founder.

Then I'll assume that Wyatt's Cafeteria was named after someone whose last name was Wyatt. But I really wonder if there was actually someone whose last name was Piccadilly?

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I don't think the L-C sign would still be there, since the building has been demolished. In the late 1980s it was a Chinese buffet place.

Your right, man I am loosing it! Please forgive Ms Bundy as her advocation is the study of those harmless creatures flying around us. Don't want to start another bird war. :P

After all she hid out in a Diner (L-C, Romana?) for protection with the others!

Edited by Vertigo58
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There was a Wyatts at S. Post Oak and W. Bellfort. Long gone...

I don't get to too many cafeterias these days.. I'm never at the

right place at the right time.. But if I do, I almost always get

chicken fried steak, cream gravy, etc, etc... It's hard to find

half decent chicken fried steak, and at least most of the cafeterias

have it, and is usually fairly decent. I also like to stage raids on

the local all you can eat chinese places.. IE: china border is almost

the same place as the old wyatts.. I usually kill about 3-4-5 heaping

plate fulls. I like those cuz I can pick n choose.

I usually hog up most the pepper steak, shrimp, fish, pork, etc..

I don't waste much time on the veggie rabbit food.. I might kill

off an egg roll or two though, during the process of calorie inhalation.

MK

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There was a Wyatts at S. Post Oak and W. Bellfort. Long gone...

I don't get to too many cafeterias these days.. I'm never at the

right place at the right time.. But if I do, I almost always get

chicken fried steak, cream gravy, etc, etc... It's hard to find

half decent chicken fried steak, and at least most of the cafeterias

have it, and is usually fairly decent. I also like to stage raids on

the local all you can eat chinese places.. IE: china border is almost

the same place as the old wyatts.. I usually kill about 3-4-5 heaping

plate fulls. I like those cuz I can pick n choose.

I usually hog up most the pepper steak, shrimp, fish, pork, etc..

I don't waste much time on the veggie rabbit food.. I might kill

off an egg roll or two though, during the process of calorie inhalation.

MK

Over this past weekend I watched the DVD movie "Fun With Dick & Jane" starring Jim Carrey. They were broke and went to a buffet. Dick piled up the plate sky high with food for the three of them. Then they took a shower under their neighbor's lawn sprinkler.

When my son's mother was expecting him, she and I had a weekly routine of going to Luby's before our Lamaze class. That's one of the few good memories that I have of 1997.

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Weren't all of the surviving Wyatt's purchased by Luby's or did things progress in another way?

I remember our Wyatt's along Avenue H in Rosenberg, right near the Richmond town line. It must've been built in the early-to-mid 80's based on what my parents remember. I think that was the first really nice, big and clean restaurant I'd been in in the city. They used to pass out gift certificates for free kids meals to us for perfect attendance at school. As Luby's it is just as nice, complete with drive thru and everything. Old photos of the area still hang on the walls... only the color scheme is really the only different thing at this point.

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Now that we're on the subject of eating establishment, I've started remember cafeterias.<<northbeaumont

Anyone remember Albrittons? They had a few locations around town. My roomate tells me she used to go to the one on Stella Link as a kid and they had a lady playing an organ or piano or something there plus a kind of conveyor belt that brought some things around to you. Anyone ever hear of that? This would be back in the early to mid 60's I think.

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Here you go, and a couple of others.

WeldonCafe.jpg

Kopper Kettle Cafeteria

KopperKettle.jpg

Suzanne Cafeteria

Suzanne.jpg

In regards to Weldons, which was a long, long,long time ago...it had a feature that I will never foget. I will always remember the conveyor belt along the sides of the place that carried all of the used trays and utensils. I have never forgotten that unique aspect of that resturant! :)

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Now that we're on the subject of eating establishment, I've started remember cafeterias.<<northbeaumont

Anyone remember Albrittons? They had a few locations around town. My roomate tells me she used to go to the one on Stella Link as a kid and they had a lady playing an organ or piano or something there plus a kind of conveyor belt that brought some things around to you. Anyone ever hear of that? This would be back in the early to mid 60's I think.

There have been discussions of Albritton's on HAIF before, maybe even a thread devoted to them. Try the search feature and I'm sure you'll find something, possibly even pictures. I think the last one was on Waugh between W. Gray and W. Dallas.

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There have been discussions of Albritton's on HAIF before, maybe even a thread devoted to them. Try the search feature and I'm sure you'll find something, possibly even pictures. I think the last one was on Waugh between W. Gray and W. Dallas.

this was all i could find, page 3

the panaderia at 4120 mckinney street used to be na "Albritton's Eats" (and nuevo leon in the late seventies)

4120mckinney_deco.jpg

4120mckinney_1978_deco.jpg

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I seem to recall that Luby's sold some of their cafeterias fairly early on, and part of the agreement was that Luby's-owned cafeterias could not bear that name where non-Luby's owned cafeterias existed. This is the reason for the "Romana Cafeterias", which were identical to Luby's (even down to the little girl on the logo).

OK, help me out on this one. It sounds as if Luby's bought buildings where other cafeterias once operated. That's how I'm interpreting the part about their agreement not to name those buildings Luby's, which is why they called them Romana. But your first sentence says that Luby's sold some of their cafeterias. What am I missing?

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  • 4 months later...
luby's rules here. but there still are a few piccadillys. as for wyatts i cant think of any but i'm sure someone knows of one. they used to be big.

The Luby's in Orange didn't last long. It closed down only after a few years. Now a restaurant called "Richard's" has moved into the Luby's building. If Luby's didn't last in that location because of access off of IH-10, then I wonder why Richard's think that they will do any better?

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The Luby's in Orange didn't last long. It closed down only after a few years. Now a restaurant called "Richard's" has moved into the Luby's building. If Luby's didn't last in that location because of access off of IH-10, then I wonder why Richard's think that they will do any better?

i think the pappas people(or some other chain) bought them out. that might have to do with the closings.

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