This unusual programmatic pig building stands refurbished but empty in south San Antonio. Once known as Frank’s Hog Stand, it’s believed to have been used as shelter for carhops in the days before drive-through.
Decades ago, “hog shops,” “pig stands,” and “hog stands” were all over the city. In a state known for its barbecue, restaurant owners needed have an eye-grabbing structure to entice people to check out their particular grub. Frank’s Hog Stand did both.
Frank’s eventually closed, and the pig building was thought to have been demolished. Then in the 1990s, the pig was rediscovered in a vacant lot outside town. At that time, it was being lived in, making the former pig stand an unusual pig-shaped house. The quirky structure was purchased and moved to its current location on South Presa.
The restorative process was an intriguing challenge for local artist Carlos Cortes, whose family had been in the faux cement decorative sculpture business for over 60 years. Bringing the big pig back to its former glory took some time, but the giant hog, now painted pink, stands as historical sculpture and throwback to an earlier time.
Though the pig stand has been used as storage in the past, it’s now empty and serves as a location marker and a favorite selfie spot. Cortes’ open air studio is located directly across the street from the giant pig. It too is an interesting site to see.