San Antonio's Pig Stand
"Keeping the pig alive"
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ABOUT PIG STAND & STAFF
The first Pig Stand restaurant opened in 1921 on the Dallas/Fort Worth Texas Turnpike. There was no dining room. Instead, the world's first curb service began. Folks drove up and were greeted by waiters who took their orders, brought them their food, and enabled them to eat in their vehicles. Shortly thereafter, the Pig Stand introduced the drive-through window allowing customers to drive up, purchase food from the convenience of their cars, and to go about their business.
During the 1920s Pig Stands opened in San Antonio, Houston, Beaumont, and other locations coast to coast. Specializing in good food with fast service in an "oldies" atmosphere, the Pig Stand became popular with the young and the old for many years to come. The chain reached its peak in the 1930s with about 130 Pig Stands mostly in Texas and California--including Hollywood!
In the initial years the Pig Stand pioneered several food items: Texas toast, deep-fried onion rings, and the country-fried steak sandwich. Not only was the Pig Stand the first restaurant to offer curb and drive-through service, it also was among the first to use fluorescent lighting, neon signs, and air conditioning.
The Pig Sandwich has been an item on the Pig Stand menu since 1921 when the first one opened in Dallas. The Broadway Pig Stand dining room sports this huge neon sign immortalizing the Pig Sandwich.
The original #29 San Antonio Broadway Pig Stand was located several feet South of its current location as shown in this 1927 photo. The restaurant was forced to move in response to the construction of Interstate 35.
Over the many years since the number of restaurants peaked in the 1930s, the number of locations dwindled down to about 25. And, by 2005 there were only six remaining in Texas. Royce Hailey became the owner after working his way up the ladder from a car hop position. After Royce Hailey accomplished his restaurant achievements, he passed the business to his son, Richard Hailey. Richard Hailey made great progress as the years passed, but in recent time he was forced to close. This rendered the Pig Stand a thing of the past until a proposal was made to the courts by one of the Pig Stand's employees---Mary Ann Hill.
Mary Ann began working at the Broadway Pig Stand as a waitress at the age of 18 in 1967.
Mary Ann in 1973 Mary Ann in 1985 Mary Ann in 2008
Mary Ann is the current owner of the only Pig Stand still in business. The restaurant industry is nothing new to Mary Ann, though. She has been an employee of the Pig Stand since 1967. Mary Ann has worked at the Pig Stand for over 40 years. She was one of the best loved waitresses and worked her way up to manager under the previous ownership of Richard Hailey. When the Pig Stand was forced to close, it devastated Mary Ann and many other employees. Mary Ann wasn't ready for her time at the Pig Stand to come to an end. An approved proposal was granted from the courts to put Mary Ann as the new owner.
When asked what she missed most during the short closure of the restaurant, Mary Ann had only one thing to say, "the customers." Mary Ann has met so many different people from all over the world. Some customers have been coming in for so many years they are family. You get to know them, their families, and the things that happen in their lives. When one of the regulars doesn't come in without mentioning it, Mary Ann gets worried. Over the years Mary Ann has become very close with several customers. Many customers have become her close friends, and she has many memories that will last forever.
Many of the employees of the Pig Stand have dedicated a number of years to this old-fashioned food chain. Mary Ann has said of her employees, "When you work with someone for so many years, they become family". Several staff members have worked together for years--ranging from 6 months to 45 years. From the employees who have worked for more than 20 years, a grand total of over 253 years has been given to this family-oriented restaurant.
All of us here at Mary Ann's Pig Stand welcome you and your family and hope that when you walk away from this historic restaurant you will feel like family also and have enjoyed your visit.
Thank you for your support and business, and we would love to have you return.