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A pre-table service Pig Stand. photo courtesy Richard Hailey WWW.TEXASOBSERVER.ORG/BLOG Our special blend of insight, analysis, and wit is now available in daily doses. Observer editors, staffers, and bloggers are posting regular reports online about Texas politics, news, and culture. told Hill that if she could raise enough money to bring the lease current and pay off delinquent property taxes, she could reopen the business. “He told me it would be about $10,000, but that was way off,” Hill recalls. “The [property] taxes hadn’t been paid in three years, and the lease hadn’t been paid in three months. Plus, I had to buy groceries. It took almost $50,000, and I’m still paying that of In January 2007, old No. 29 was reopened as Mary Ann’s Pig Stand. For Hailey, 59, who was literally born into the world of the neon pig, and then spent most of his life promoting and operating Pig Stands, this is the only consolation left. “It makes me extremely happy to see it open. I’m happy Mary got the opportunity, and I feel like she’s on solid ground,” he says of his former employee. “I still go by there often, talk to her and get a cup of coffee. It still feels like home,” he says. “I see the regular customers, and I talk to them.” Though the Broadway Pig Stand is up and running, the long-term business arrangements are uncertain. Hill is leasing the business from a trust created by the bankruptcy court, but the trust will likely be dissolved long before Hill’s 10-year lease expires. style and technology, the last Pig Stand is now a doddering, if beloved, symbol of old times. While modernity nearly killed it, the Pig Stand is still treasured by those who never lost their cravings for pork sandwiches, root beer floats, and fond memories of youth. And don’t start writing its obituary yet. Crazy as it sounds, the once-mighty, pioneering chain could make a comeback if the right pieces fall into place, according to Liuzza, the trustee. “I grew up in the restaurant business, and this is a real unique thing. It has a lot more value than the numbers we’re talking about today if someone can use the history,” Liuzza says. “I believe there is some restaurant company that will pay several million dollars for the brand. They could build a chain on that name and be the oldest drive-in in the world,” he says. Then, perhaps, this pig could truly fly. Occasional Pig Stand patron John MacCormack has worked as a reporter in San Antonio for more than two decades. Liuzza says he is still trying to figure out an arrangement that will allow her to own the business outright. “I need to come up with some agreement and get the court to bless it,” he says. Once on the cutting edge of restaurant MAY 2, 2008 THE TEXAS OBSERVER 25