I missed this article last fall. The author suggests that IKEA is bringing back cafeterias - both in terms of the food, the style of dining, and the sense of community they create. They even namedrop Dubrow's:
"Cafeterias as public restaurants found hungry customers everywhere they opened for business. While chains like Luby’s, Morrison’s, and Dubrow’s would turn most of America into cafeteria country by mid-century, Los Angeles was the first cafeteria capital. Inspired by the Chicago girls’ clubs, a restaurateur named Helen S. Mosher opened the first one on the West Coast in 1905, on Hill Street in Los Angeles. She called it the Cafeteria, and women weren’t just the clientele: They were working in the kitchens, too. Soon after opening, the Pacific Coast Record reported that the Cafeteria made bank as “women cooks and see-and-select one’s food drew the crowds.” Mosher opened two more and soon had a slew of others, also run by women, to compete with in the days when L.A. ranked in size between Omaha and Memphis.
To women, the spaces were sold as an opportunity to skip the patriarchally enforced obligation to cook at home. The option didn’t exactly break the chains of domestic servitude, but pointed toward a new intersection between eating, money, and gender. “We want to say to every housewife in Phoenix,” read a 1914 ad in the Arizona Republican, “that the time has come when you can come to the New Palace Cafeteria and get the very best meal cheaper than you can prepare it at home.”
Cafeterias became places where just about anyone could get a meal, from bohemians to business executives, in a model that operated on the assumption of equality — with the exception of places like the segregated South."