RAY'S DRIVE INN A PIECE OF
SAN ANTONIO HISTORY

By Capone De Leon

In Texas Business

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As 2017 brings in new business to San Antonio, one local landmark has withstood the test of time to bring history, family fun and pride of ownership to San Antonio and that is RAY'S DRIVE INN the INVENTOR of the Puffy Taco.  Ray's Drive Inn first opened it's doors in 1965 at what used to be Cibolo's Ice House on Texas the corner of 19th and Guadalupe by Ray H. Lopez, the oldest of 7 children born to Luis and Bacelia Lopez.  They owned and operated a fruit stand and grocery store  in the west side of San Antonio, on El Paso Street next door to the Guadalupe Catholic Church.  "My mother was the business woman of the Lopez family" says her son and Ray's owner Arturo. Ray, who had worked at Paul Maries, another local Drive In, popular during the 50s and 60s in San Antonio.  Soon after he opened he began showing free movies to the neighborhood families and soon gained popularity by featuring mouth watering hamburgers, fried chicken and ice cold beer served by young Chicana Car Hops.  Ray's quickly became a favorite hang out for many local politicos and a lot of the Air Force Brass of nearby Kelly AFB.  On weekends, Ray would feature live music by area bands including Tejano Legend, Isidro "El Indio" Lopez.

In 1966, Ray's younger brother Arturo Lopez, who had moved to California with his wife, Gloria and young son to open several restaurants in the Los Angeles area, including one named "Taco Tienda", agreed to purchase Ray's Drive Inn.  This made his brother Ray happy because the business would stay in the Lopez family.  In short, Arturo wanted to introduce a new item to the menu, something he though his customers would like, something that was born in Southern California called "The Puffy Taco."  Of course, he would continue to serve the traditional fresh squeezed lemonade all while commuting back and forth from California.

TRADEMARK REGISTERED

Then in 1992, at the urging of his wife Gloria, Arturo decided to register the "Puffy Taco" and on November 3rd 1992, Ray's Drive Inn received the official "Trademark" for the "Puffy Taco".

 

Now more than 25 years later, the "Puffy Taco" has been featured in The Cable Food Network Channel as "The Best of the Best in Mexican Food", and publications such as, The Current, Conexxcion, La Prensa as well as other publications.  The Puffy Taco has also become a symbol of the San Antonio Missions Baseball League thanks to Arturo's younger brother Henry, owner of Henry's Puffy Tacos.

BEST OF THE BEST

Ray's still came to be the home of the Original Puffy Taco, prepared the same old fashion way and boasts serving over 500 puffy tacos a day.  So, the next time you visit a restaurant that offers puffy tacos, try one!  You be the judge.  We think you will agree that we make the BEST PUFFY TACO in the world!!

UPDATE: Ray's Drive Inn Owner Passes Away

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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                           is the creator of A Better Texas News Network and is the acting editor in chief.  He is a dedicated community activist, husband and father who uses all of his many talents to give back to his community in any way he can.  He started in the media industry in 1996 and has been growing his business ManJon Studios Advertising Agency+ ever since.  He has reported on thousands of events and businesses over the years in all aspects of broadcasting.

Capone De Leon

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