The two-story drive-thru has been a curiosity in the downtown neighborhood since the studs went up six months ago. After opening two weeks ago, Jack's is developing a steady stream of customers ' some who are curious about the banner hawking gourmet hot dogs, others who remember a downtown institution, Jack's Coffee Shop.
In the late 1930s, Jack's Coffee Shop on the corner of Vermilion and Buchanan streets was a hot spot for burgers, dogs, chili and beer. The chili developed such a following that when Jack Cutitto sold his business to "Cap" Latiolais in 1939, the chili recipe was an essential part of the sale. Students from Cathedral Carmel and Lafayette High would spend their lunch hour munching chili dogs or turn up after school to play the jukebox. Cap's son Pepe ran Jack's until the early 1960s, when the Oil Center put the quietus on the lunch trade downtown.
Pepe Latiolais went on to become a well-known bartender at LaFonda, and the chili recipe slipped into obscurity until a few years ago when it was given as a Christmas gift to his children, including daughter Diana Maria Latiolais Rodriguez Suggs. "Nobody made the chili except Don," Suggs says of her husband.
On the strength of the chili, Don decided to reincarnate Jack's as a modern drive-thru. His all-beef Vienna wieners are Gourmet magazine's No. 1 choice for good dogs; the spice-filled Polish dogs have a nice bite. Fueling a 21st century addiction, he complements chili with caffeine, hence his list of high octane espressos, the Mexican mocha (a cocoa and cinnamon flavored coffee), and the cardamom and clove scented chai.
Do-it-yourself carpentry by Don placed the drive-thru window a bit on the high side. "No problem," says employee Allison Barron, who will walk your dog to your car if you can't reach. "Just think of us as SUV-friendly."
Jack's is open 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday, 407 Johnston St. (corner of Johnston and Vermilion). Call 237-8889 or fax in your order at 269-0008.
Lafayette Police have had a busy day.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's administration will use $130 million in patchwork financing from a tax amnesty program, insurance settlement, uninsured motorist penalties and other excess funds to close most of the state's midyear budget deficit.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu said she disagrees with President Barack Obama's actions on immigration, hoping the latest controversy doesn't worsen her campaign difficulties.
Two bedroom in Lafayette or two bedroom in Kaplan
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Gay-rights advocates challenging Louisiana's same-sex marriage ban announced Thursday that they have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their case before it is heard by a federal appeals court.
Thursday’s explosion aboard an oil production platform in the Gulf of Mexico is now under investigation by the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement.
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Thinking himself the “son of God,” the man charged with the 2013 killing of an officer of the Chitimacha Tribal Police will not stand trial following a ruling Thursday on his mental competency.
Four hours after inviting supporters to a rally with Sen. Marco Rubio, Bill Cassidy claimed that Mary Landrieu “voted against stopping executive amnesty.”
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Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Ten departing CEOs rake in $430 million; profile of FSU gunman emerges; Buffalo's weather woes and more national and international news for Friday, November 21, 2014.
The Ethics Board gives the lame duck Youngsville mayor permission to offer a sweet parting gift to the community he’s presided over for three terms.
Carencro ranch style home or three bedroom traditional in St. Martinville
The money came through a general obligation bond sale Thursday.
A legend in the Acadiana Oil Patch, Comeaux died Monday, Nov. 17.
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Gov. Bobby Jindal is in Florida this week with his fellow Republican governors for another gripe session aimed at their favorite target, the president, this time taking aim at his immigration plans.
Early voting for the runoff is shortened by two days because of the Thanksgiving holiday.
“Coach Don” Gagnard is running for school board. Today he offers his critique of the socioeconomic relationship between government subsidies and obesity.
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Former Le Rosier chef who cooked at the James Beard House and was named one of the “Best New Chefs in America” by Food & Wine magazine in 1995 was 48.
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