Howdy folks, and welcome back to Houston Historic Retail. Since just before the break up of Luby’s, I’ve been following the slow decline of Fuddruckers. Things have not been going great for the chain, as covered in the last couple of updates. Photos from recent trips to company-owned stores paint a picture that food quality has somewhat recovered. The “skinny fries” temporarily served at some locations have been replaced with steak fry-style potatoes, reminiscent of what Luby’s used to have. The burger patty also looks to be of much better quality than the overdone “school burger” I had on my last visit. That being said, some issues are still to be solved, such as the lack of fountain drinks (with only cans being offered), and the cheese sauce not being up to par. As part of the ongoing rehabilitation effort two Houston-area Fuddrucker locations have been temporarily closed for repairs.
The first unit to close was the Greenway Plaza store, which closed about two weeks ago, and was also the home to the Fudd’s Delivery van and Catering Truck. Issues at the location with the air conditioner caused water to drip from the ceiling throughout the dining room constantly. My last visit to this location was underscored by the dripping water hitting my head while taking a relatively disappointing bite of my burger. The 290 location, on the other hand, cites “water repair” as their reason for closure. Both stores feature identical signs stating that the locations are temporarily closed for repairs and maintenance. Speaking with an HHR reader and occasional contributor (thanks, Jason!) I could pinpoint that the 290 location closed about a week after Greenway Plaza. Visiting the location, I found that the vans had been moved here and that the glass of the main entrance had been broken since then. It is unclear what exactly is next for these two locations. They still appear as open on Google Maps, and Temporarily Closed on Fuddrucker’s website.
It is difficult to say what exactly will happen next for these two locations. Other out-of-state stores listed as temporarily closed failed to reopen and have since permanently closed; hopefully, though, this situation will be avoided in Houston. In the meantime, six other Fuddruckers continue to operate in Houston under a mix of corporate and franchised locations.