Wellsville’s cornerstone diner is now a ‘historic business’
From left to right: Gabriel Raptis, Michelle Raptis, Isabelle Raptis, Michael Raptis (behind), Demetrios Raptis and Jim Raptis.
Senator George Borrello visited the legendary Wellsville restaurant, Texas Hot, to announce its incorporation into New York State’s Historic Business Preservation Registry.
Established by legislation passed in 2020 and newly launched this spring, the Registry includes businesses that have been in operation for at least 50 years and have contributed to their communities’ history. Senator Borrello nominated the landmark destination in January 2022. Texas Hot is one of 100 businesses included in this first round of designations.
“Texas Hot and its famous hot dogs have earned ‘icon’ status, not only among the residents of our region and state, but nationally,” said Senator Borrello. “The business’ longevity is a tribute to the vision of its founders, the enduring commitment of the Raptis and Rigas families and the support of the Wellsville community. Texas Hot is an extraordinary historic business that is most deserving of its place on the state’s Historic Business Preservation Registry.”
The honorary program, which provides educational and promotional assistance to help ensure businesses in the state remain viable, is coordinated through the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (OPRHP). An interactive storyboard map, which provides information about the location and history of each business, can be found on the agency website https://parks.ny.gov/historic-preservation/business-registry/default.aspx
Texas Hot was opened in Wellsville in November 1921 by James Rigas and George Raptis. The cousins capitalized on a trend of the time by specializing in a “Texas Hot,” a distinctive variety of chili dog influenced by the flavors of the Mediterranean, specifically the Greek immigrants who opened Texas Hot restaurants in western New York and Pennsylvania. Mike Raptis and Chris Rigas, grandsons of the founders, are the current owners. The fourth generation of the Rigas and Raptis families have also joined the operation.
Texas Hot will celebrate their 100th anniversary on July 8 and 9 with an anniversary event that will include entertainment, food, a parade and fun activities for families. Details are available here.