Furr’s May Never Open Its Doors in Lubbock Again
Lubbock’s Furr’s Fresh Buffet as we know it could be gone forever.
The last remaining Lubbock location was forced to close its doors in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but said this past March that they would reopen once Texas' mask mandate was lifted.
But here we are days from the end of May, the mask mandate has been lifted and businesses have been running at 100-percent capacity since March 10th, 2021, with no confirmed reopening date for the longtime Lubbock buffet.
Furr’s locations closing is something many Lubbockites are already familiar with. Back in 2019, the Furr’s Fresh Buffet that located across from the South Plains Mall permanently closed its doors. This left the location at 2817 Loop 289 as the last remaining option for the city's all-you-can-eat-pie needs. Unfortunately, it seems that there might be some sort of curse in Lubbock on these buffets.
The last we heard from Furr’s about their possible re-opening was via a paper sign taped on their entrance reading 'Open Soon!' in mid-April. It was taped to the inside of the door, which meant this wasn't a rental/landlord issue.
So, what's the deal? Why is Furr's in Lubbock still closed?
As of April 20th, 2021, Fresh Acquisitions, LLC, the owner of Furr's Fresh Buffet and other affiliates, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in the northern district of Texas. According to Restaurant Business Online, this is the fifth time since 2008 that the company has needed federal debt protection.
Jason Kemp, the co-founder and CEO of VitaNova Brands, the company that has offered a loan to Fresh Acquisitions, LLC to assist with liquidation, stated: "The precipitous decline in sales at the restaurants resulting from occupancy restrictions and the banning of family-style buffet dining forced the companies to take extraordinary steps, including the closing of multiple locations."
"We are looking forward to emerging from bankruptcy as a stronger operator with a focus on the Tahoe Joe’s and Furr’s AYCE Marketplace banners," Kemp added about the company's plan surrounding the bankruptcy:
I tried giving a couple other Furr's locations a call to see if they were open. I decided to give the Hobbs, New Mexico location a call because they're still listed on Google as an open Furr's AYCE Marketplace. However, my call went directly to a 'disconnected number' message. The same was true for the supposedly 'temporarily closed' restaurant in Garland, Texas. It seems that these locations may be in the same situation as the Lubbock establishment.
If the plan is to move forward with their Marketplace and Tahoe Joe's locations, then I'm not sure why the Hobbs location I tried calling had a disconnected number.
There haven't been any announcements about possible buyers that can save the company from its bankruptcy since the bankruptcy announcement on April 20th, so it looks like Furr's may never reopen their doors in Lubbock again. Fans of the restaurant can only hope that Fresh Acquisitions, LLC manages to find a buyer or resolve their debts in some other way in order to reopen the doors.
Iconic Lubbock Businesses That Have Closed Over the Years
10 Restaurants That Have Closed in Lubbock, Texas