Local News

Jul 22, 2013 2:26 PM by Matt Terhune, mterhune@kristv.com

Snapka's Celebrates 65 Years in Business

CORPUS CHRISTI- Snapka's Drive-Inns eatery is celebrating its 65th Anniversary.

It started in Robstown in 1948, but now only has 2 locations in Corpus Christi.

This one on Leopard Street near Navigation started in 1953.

And here you find Snapka's on Weber road that opened in 1956.

I talked to the mother and daughter team that co-owns Snapka's these days.

They were the first car-hop to sell crispy tacos after they discovered them on a vacation in California.

Kathy Snapka says, "They came back and my dad made the form for the first taco shells, 'cause you couldn't really find it. So he made them from, where you take the corn tortilla, shape it into a taco shell and they introduced hard shell tacos to South Texas."

Maxine Snapka, who started the business with her late husband, admits at first they didn't have the price right.

Maxine Snapka says, "You cannot believe this. We sold 4 tacos for 50 cents. There was not a Mexican place in town."

These days tacos go for a $1.85 each.

The price and times have definitely changed. The Snapka's say they've been through good times and bad.

The worst experience they have endured was when Hurricane Celia hit August 3rd, 1970.

Kathy Snapka says, "Celia blew away the coverings on all the drive-inns." Maxine Snapka says, "All we had to do was go around town and see them wrapped around telephone poles."

It took 7 months to re-open all 5 Snapka car-hops.

Despite the changes, Kathy says their customers have remained loyal throughout the years.

Kathy Snapka says, "They know us and we know our customers. We've had the same family members come to see us for generations. And we're really happy to serve families."

The Snapkas are thinking of expanding to the far south side of Corpus Christi near Saratoga.

Also with the new outlet mall coming, they are thinking of re-opening Snapka's in Robstown.


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