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The whole community came out for the last chance to try one of the famous chili dogs. Daily Record Photo by Shannon West.

Last chance chili dog

Thursday, December 28, 2023


The Chili Dog Stand, a San Marcos restaurant staple for the past 71 years, announced that it is closing its doors on Saturday Dec. 30. 

The stand was opened in the summer of 1952 by Dawson Wilson Tabor and Mabel Juanita Tabor. The restaurant said at the time of its creation that chili dogs were sold for just fifteen cents each or two for a quarter and eight for $1. The business was started with a bank loan of $100 in a building near the corner of South LBJ and East San Antonio Street. The stand later moved to the east side of Guadalupe Street in between East San Antonio Street and East Martin Luther King Drive and is now located at 1140 Invasion St.

The business was passed down to their son, Robert Tabor. He moved the Chili Dog Stand to the corner of North Edward Gary Street and University Boulevard. Under Robert Tabor, the manager was Tony Garza, who acquired the business in the 1970s. Idalia Garza took over in 2003 and Gabriel Garza in 2012, according to an article published in the Daily Record last year.

The closing announcement that came Wednesday via a facebook post. 

“We have watched our city grow and change, just as we have seen the generations of San Marcos grow and change. We are extremely proud of all that we have accomplished through the years and we will always be thankful for you and your family’s past business and support,” the post stated. “The decision to close the business has not been an easy one. We hope that we have been successful in offering quality, homemade food and maintaining excellent customer service. Thank you for being a loyal customer to our company. It has been our pleasure to serve you for all this time!”

The day after the announcement, the community flocked to the stand to show support. The line spanned the entire parking lot and the drive through line was down the street. Among those in line was a former employee of the Chili Dog Stand and a longtime customer, Elisa Gonzales. She said the stand will be dearly missed because the chili dogs are really good. The stand has even been named Best Chili Dog in the Best of Hays annual contest.

 “I worked with them when the Tabor’s had their location on Guadalupe street,” Gonzales said. “We used to make a lot of hot dogs, especially when the college dorms would order anywhere from 200 to 300 chili dogs for the dorms. That’s a lot of chili dogs.”

Gonzales said she’s been coming to eat at the stand for many years.

“We always come in when we’re in town. We live in Seguin now,” Gonzales said. “Every time we’d come into town we’d have to have chili dogs.”

Check out the menu here For updates on why the restaurant closed, see Sunday’s issue of the San Marcos Daily Record.

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666