Texas Wieners, one of the city's oldest restaurants, closes

Texas Wieners (or Weiners) has been on Snyder Avenue since 1923. Owner John Viggiano says he is close to selecting a buyer for the closed restaurant

South Philadelphia hot dog mecca Texas Wieners, which has stood on Snyder Avenue just off Broad Street since 1923, has closed.

John Viggiano, who with his family has owned the subway-tiled luncheonette for more than a decade, said a sale was pending and would reopen.

Viggiano said he was close to selecting a buyer "who really wants to take an interest in the business. It has to keep going." He said he was selling because of a "lucrative job offer in my field of employment."

The restaurant, at 1426 Snyder Ave., closed Sept. 9 after it failed a city Health Department inspection and was ordered to cease operation for 48 hours. Viggiano described the issues as minor; the inspector said she found evidence of mice and flies.

Among Texas Wieners' assets - besides the signs that alternately spell the name "Wieners" and "Weiners" -  is the secret recipe for "Greek sauce." It was developed by the shop's original owner to top the split, grilled hot dogs. 

Ron Avery, who wrote about the sauce in 1993 for the Philadelphia Daily News, described it as resembling "sickly brown mush. But it's the flavor that counts. It's not blazing hot, but it packs a wonderful tangy zing that leaves an afterglow in the mouth." It is said that even employees did not know the true recipe.

Many customers also ordered the Philadelphian combo of a hot dog and fish cake on one roll that was popular at many shops, including Lenny's and Levis.