Pig Stand is closed. After 80+ years on Washington Avenue. I’m sad and pissed and disappointed and surprised and not surprised.
I’ve been predicting this horrible event for some time in this blog, since the Target arrived a few blocks away, hoping I was just being melodramatic. It wasn’t the Target that did the restaurant in, though – it was bad management and back taxes. Read about it here and here. Evidently the owner had been trying to dump the Pig Stand franchise for some time. If you ever visited the location on Washington Avenue, you would have seen pictures of this guy in his best starched, nut hugger jeans and cowboy hat – I think he claimed to be a country singer. In fact, I’m pretty sure there was an album cover behind the cash register with his image on it. Not being a fan of country music, shitty or otherwise, I never looked into his musical abilities. So I would guess his focus was not on the food. And, really, who can think with their nuts in a denim vice.
Over the past two years what for over a decade was a regular breakfast and occasional burger stop for me had become a once every couple of months visit. It was like hanging out with that friend you know you have nothing in common with anymore but you keep trying to make it work because of the good memories. You know it’s inevitable that by the end of your night out, your friend will have puked on your shoes and pissed off your other (more together) friends, yet you still hang out. Pig Stand had gotten to the point that you’d wait for 45 minutes to get your food at lunch, and there would only be three other tables occupied. In fact, my last meal there was with my friend Dennis, and the food took so long the waitress didn’t charge us for it. So my (unknowing) final visit to Pig Stand was on the house, and the waitress received a ten dollar tip. At least that last burger (it was a patty melt) was really, really delicious. Reminded me of the good old days. But not all of the recent visits were so culinarily positive – many were mediocre-to -shitty.
Ah, well, I’m sure a Starbucks or Barnes & Noble or Bed, Bath and Bullshit will soon open on the site. Or, maybe someone will build some more of those sucky three story townhomes that look like garages except for the fancy brick facade.
Or, I can hope that someone with some money and a love for Houston’s history buys the restaurant, reopens (under a different name but with a similar deal) and makes a killing. They could turn the place into a bar at night. Multi-purpose that bitch. The counter is already there. Just some minor tweaking to make it a dual bidness. Burgers by day, beer by night. I really think it could work. I hope someone with some cashola does something cool.