In the summer of 1952 Dawson Wilson Tabor and his wife Mabel Juanita Taber began the Chili Dog Stand. Mr. Tabor launched the business with a bank loan of $100 in a partially constructed building located at the corner of South LBJ and East San Antonio St. Mr. Tabor had been a cook in the military during WWI and used what he had learned to create the signature chili recipe. He then moved the Chili Dog Stand to its next location on the east side of Guadalupe Street, about midway between East San Antonio and East Martin Luther King drive.

At the time chili dogs were sold for fifteen cents each, two for a quarter, and eight for a dollar. In addition they sold soda pop, chips, and candy. As the business grew, the Tabors put every penny back into the business. With much success and thrifty savings they were able to retire ten years later and sell the business to their son, Robert Tabor. In 1962 Robert Taber claimed ownership to the Chili Dog Stand and opened a second location at the corner of North Edward Gary St. and University Blvd.

Robert Tabor lived in Tyler, Texas, therefore, he entrusted the management of the business to Mr. Tony Garza. Mr. Tabor would visit the Chili Dog Stand about once a month to inspect operations and make several batches of chili sauce to be used at both stands. He held onto the business for a number of years and finally sold it to long time friend and former employee, Tony Garza.

Tony Garza, a San Marcos native, acquired the business in the 1970’s and took pride in continuing the San Marcos tradition. In 1984 he opened another location on the corner of Invasion St. and Patton St. He and his wife Idalia worked together to cultivate the growth of the Chili Dog Stand. When Tony retired in 2003, Idalia Garza took over as director of operations. In 2012, Gabriel Garza, son of Tony and Idalia, assumed claim of the Chili Dog Stand. Presently, the Chili Dog Stand still thrives under the principles of its early beginnings; frugality and a great homemade product.

1140 Invasion St
San Marcos, TX 78666

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