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What Was The First Drive-In Restaurant Established In
The U.S.?
By Cynthia Anaya
Drive-in restaurants, which allow customers to park their cars and order food from carhops, have been around in the U.S. for just over 100 years. Although drive-thru restaurants eventually took the spotlight from drive-ins, there are still plenty of drive-in restaurants in the U.S. today, and some may wonder which drive-in came first.
Drive-in restaurants first became popularized in 1921 by the Texas chain Pig Stand, which primarily served barbecued-pork sandwiches. Pig Stand created quite the buzz with its drive-in concept, especially since cars were beginning to become more luxurious, and soon many other restaurants started offering the same service.
Dozens more Pig Stand locations popped up throughout the country after the first location in 1921, but they couldn't compete with the other drive-in restaurants, prompting closures. In 2021, the San Antonio Pig Stand was the only remaining outpost of the franchise, and it still has drive-in service available.