On November 14, 2006, state officials close the ultimate two of Texas’ famed Pig Stand restaurants, the only real remaining bits of the nation’s initial drive-in restaurant empire. The restaurants’ owners have been bankrupt, plus they owed the Texas comptroller a lot more than $200,000 in unpaid sales taxes.
A Dallas entrepreneur named Jessie G. Kirby built the 1st Pig Stand across the Dallas-Fort Worth Highway in October 1921. It was a roadside barbecue restaurant instead of any: Its patrons could drive up, consume and leave, all without budging from their automobiles. (“People with cars are so lazy,” Kirby explained, “they don’t want to get out of them.”) Kirby lured these auto-attached buyers with great fanfare and spectacle. When a buyer pulled in to the Pig Stand parking lot, teenaged boys in white shirts and black bow ties jogged to his automobile, hopped up onto the running board-sometimes right before the driver had even pulled right into a parking space-and took his order. (This daredevilry won the servers a nickname: carhops.) Soon, the Pig Stand drive-ins replaced the carhops with attractive girls on roller skates, however the fundamental formula was the same: good-hunting teenagers and women, tasty meals, speedy service and auto-based comfort.
That initial Pig Stand was popular with hungry drivers, also it became a chain quickly. (The slogan: “America’s Motor Lunch.”) Kirby and his partners made among the 1st franchising arrangements in restaurant history, and Pig Stands started cropping up everywhere. By 1934, there have been greater than 130 Pig Stands in nine states. (Most have been in California and Florida.) Meanwhile, the chain kept innovating. Many folks say that California’s Pig Stand No. 21 became the 1st drive through restaurant on earth in 1931, and food historians believe Pig Stand cooks invented deep-fried onion rings, chicken-fried steak sandwiches and a regional specialty referred to as Texas Toast.
But wartime gasoline and food rationing hit the Pig Stands tough, and following the pugilative war they struggled to contend with newer, flashier drive-ins. By the finish of the 1950s, all the franchises outdoors of Texas had closed. By 2005, even the Texas Pig Stands were struggling to survive-only six remained in the entire state-and by the next year that they had all disappeared.
In 2007, state bankruptcy trustees identified a means for just one Pig Stand, in San Antonio, to reopen. Though it’ll possibly by no means be as popular since it when was, and clients will have to obtain out of these cars and go inside to take, the restaurant remains a sentimental preferred of plenty of Texans.