The first Kirby’s Pig Stand opened in West Oak Cliff, at the Fort Worth Pike and Chalk Hill Road, in 1921. The little barbecue stand with carhop service was an immediate hit because drivers were “too lazy” to get out of their cars, according to news stories from the time. J.G Kirby opened the second Pig Stand on Zang at Colorado not long after the original opened. Pig Stand was so successful that by 1924, 30 years before Ray Kroc bought McDonald’s, there were nine other stands in Dallas. That year, the company sold 50,000 of its “pig sandwiches” at those 10 stores, according to Texas Monthly. The company also expanded to San Antonio, Houston and Beaumont, and it opened Pig Stands in six other states as well.
The pig sandwich was a Tennessee-style pulled pork sandwich with sour pickle relish, according to Texas Monthly.
Pig Stand copycats started springing up all over Dallas, and the company sued several of them for copyright infringement over the use of the “Pig Stand” and “pig sandwich” names.
J.G. Kirby died of pneumonia at 39, but his wife, Shirley, and business partner, Reuben Jackson, carried on, offering franchises and continuing expansion.
Business remained steady, and former carhop Royce Hailey bought Pig Stand, then a chain of 23 Texas restaurants, in 1961. The last remaining Pig Stand in Dallas, at Northwest Highway and Abrams, closed in 1985. (The one many of you may remember.)
There were Pig Stand restaurants in San Antonio and Beaumont as late as 2006. The owner had filed bankruptcy the previous year with hopes of saving the last remaining Pig Stands. But expenses proved too high, and they shut out the lights.