Infamous Texas Cafeteria To Close

Thursday, August 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

KILLEEN, Texas (AP) — Almost a decade after 23 people were gunned down, the cafeteria where terror reigned for a day is scheduled for closure.

Despite the horrifying memories, residents have continued to dine at Killeen's Luby's Cafeteria. But customers learned Wednesday that the cafeteria will be one of 15 Luby's to close Sept. 8, manager Ken Borski said.

George Hennard drove his truck through the window of the cafeteria's dining area at lunch hour on Oct. 16, 1991. Moving calmly through a group of more than 100 people, he killed 23 and wounded 20 others before killing himself.

The parents of state Rep. Suzanna Gratia Hupp were among the victims, but she supported keeping the business open.

``The community is going to lose a very valuable restaurant,'' Hupp said. ``My brother and I placed a phone call to (Luby's) upper management the day after the incident and begged them to keep it open.''

Almost 40 employees will be relocated to other Luby's restaurants, the closest of which is in Temple, 23 miles away, or will have to find employment elsewhere.

Luby's operates 231 restaurants in 10 states in the South and Southwest, with about three-quarters of them in Texas. The company was founded by Bob Luby and a partner in a downtown San Antonio basement in April 1948.

Shares of Luby's Inc. dropped sharply Monday after the closings were announced and the company said that earnings in the current quarter would be ``significantly below expectations.''