The Pig Stand opened in 1921 in Dallas and claims to be America’s first true “drive-in” restaurant. The company expanded throughout Texas and then the United States, then declared bankruptcy. A single Pig Stand survives in San Antonio.
“America’s Motor Lunch” was a Pig Stand slogan by at least 1930, and “A Tasty Meal Served at Your Wheel” was a slogan from 1932.
Pig Stands World’s First Drive-Ins
By Carol Sowa
The fast-food industry of today owes its start to a Texas pig that continues to “fly high” in the Alamo City.
Folks went hog wild when the first Pig Stand opened in Dallas in 1921. Agile “car hops” leaped onto running boards of Model-Ts to deliver “curb service” to a generation on the go. It was the age of the automobile, and Pig Stands multiplied across America faster than you can say “soooo-eeee.” It took the Great Depression of the ‘30s to slow “The Pig” down. Pig Stands, pioneers in franchising, pared down to concentrate on company-owned Texas stands, which continued to lead the way in dining innovations. Besides offering the world the first drive-in dining and drive-through window, Pig Stands introduced the taste buds of the world to onion rings in the ‘20s, “Texas Toast” and the chicken-fried steak sandwich in the ‘40s. Of course, their best-known offering is their original, trademarked “Pig Sandwich,” featuring tender, sliced barbecue pork with relish and sauce on a bun.
San Antonio’s “three little pigs” (1508 Broadway, 801 S. Presa and 3054 Rigsby) continue the proud Pig Stand tradition of serving tasty American staples, such as hamburgers, chicken-fried steak, fried shrimp, chopped steak, club sandwiches, fried chicken, malts, shakes and banana splits (all of those tasty favorites you grew up with) in settings that make you feel you’ve stepped back in time. Slide into a booth and flip through the song selections for the jukebox. Doesn’t that bring back memories?! Nostalgic black-and-white photos of Pig Stands past line the walls (with carhops in full regalia and vintage cars lined up for “America’s Motor Lunch"), and “pigobilia” is everywhere. Pigs of all shapes, sizes and composition pack display cases and smile at you from multitudinous perches.
13 September 1930, Dallas (TX) Morning News, part 1, pg. 6:
Pig Stands Company, Inc.
“America’s Motor Lunch”
28 May 1932, San Antonio (TX) Light, “Pig Stand Is One of Best,” pg. 12A, col. 3:
The new Pig Stand company, Inc., uses the slogan, “A tasty meal served at your wheel.”
2 July 1932, San Antonio (TX) Light, pg. 11A, col. 5 ad:
“A Tasty Meal
Served at Your Wheel”
PIG STAND CO., Inc.
2 July 1932, San Antonio (TX) Light, “Pig Stands Give Speedy Service,” pg. 12A, col. 5:
A delightful meal prepared in a “jiffy” and service hard to surpass, is a feature of San Antonio’s five Pig Stands. “A Tasty Meal, Served at Your Wheel” is the motto adopted by this concern and is backed by courteous and efficient work.
16 April 1997, Syracuse (NY) Herald Journal, pg. A12, col. 6:
The Pig Stand.
What a landmark. Grown men still get goose bumps at the thought of Ross Stitt’s 45-cent turkey, beef and “pig” barbecue sandwiches, washed down with a glass of “ice-cold pineapple juice” at 15 cents a slug.
Ross called his drive-in “America’s motor lunch.” Maybe it was the most famous we’ve had in this town.
The Texas Observer
Last Pig Standing
In San Antonio, Texas’ founding contribution to fast-food culture hangs on by the hair of its chinny chin chin.
John MacCormack | May 02, 2008 | Books & the Culture
The Pig Stand’s slogan was “America’s Motor Lunch,” and as motorists arrived, teenage carhops in white shirts and black bow ties leaped onto running boards to take orders.
Texas (Lone Star State Dictionary) • (0) Comments • Tuesday, May 13, 2008 • Permalink