Lubbock’s Glory Days of Friends, Furr’s & Food Emporium
With all these new businesses launching, I thought we'd take a look back at some old ones.
Let's start with the latest loss, and that would be Furr's. I'm not sure if you can completely blame Furr's closing in Lubbock on the COVID-19 pandemic because I'd put it more on the cafeteria-style dining. I just don't think asking for a scoop of this and a scoop of that is as pleasing as it once was. Restaurants are now much more specialized and instead of just "going to dinner," people would rather "go get a steak," "go get some Thai food" or "get something with the hope that it's hot and freshly made."
Next up is Friends convenience stores. You probably think we have a battle for convenience stores now with all the new Circle K's coming up against Stripes, 7-Eleven, Yesway, and others. I'm here to tell you that's nothing. Friends came to town and went bare-knuckle brawling with 7-Eleven for quite some time. I don't remember Friends even being that special; it was just new, exciting and maybe a little more spacious than the 7-Elevens of that time.
Now onto my favorite of the three F's: Food Emporium. Food Emporium was basically 'Furr's Grocery Deluxe.' The store was the trendsetter at the time and actually brought us a version of the Market Street concept before there was Market Street. I don't remember as many cooked foods, but I do believe their tortilla-making machine predated even Rosa's around here. I actually have a family member that worked at Food Emporium who was very sad to see it go. Food King is now the resident in the old Food Emporium spot.