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.
New menu items ready for the Lenten season
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, March 07, 2014:
Two Lafayette men have been revealed by police as the infamous duo behind a caper that shook our fair city to its core.
She’s the daughter of the legendary Johnny Cash, but she’s been a gifted artist in her own right for three decades, and she’s coming to Lafayette.
The Lafayette Parish School Board has received a second letter of demand related to last year’s insurance debacle, this time from Key Benefit Administrators claiming it’s owed $93,000 from the school system.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The Louisiana coastline is vanishing faster than mappers can keep track.
A bill that would have overridden local ordinances prohibiting public and private employers from discriminating against lesbian, gay and transgender people has been pulled within less than a week of being filed.
The panel that selects nominees for a controversial New Orleans area flood control board — a board that is suing more than 90 oil, gas and pipeline companies — is set to discuss legislation affecting its independence.
State prison officials cannot keep secret the seller and manufacturer of the two drugs purchased for executions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary, a federal judge ruled Wednesday.
State lawmakers will not appeal a judge's ruling that it was improper to use $3.7 million from a probation and parole officers' retirement fund to balance the state's operating budget.
Prepare yourselves for sun
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Conservatives have been losing their minds over this satirical bit on the Colbert Report.
Due to the chaos of Mardi Gras and the weather, the entry deadline for this year's INDesign Awards has been extended by one week.
The Lafayette Parish School Board leaves a lot to be desired, but is scrapping the election process in favor of an appointed board the answer?
Queen Evangline and King Gabriel ruled Tuesday night
The House approved legislation Tuesday night to roll back a recently enacted overhaul of the federal flood insurance program, after homeowners in flood-prone areas complained about sharp premium increases.
IND Style does Gabriel
Newsy bits for the fam
The NFL has formally designated New Orleans' Jimmy Graham as a tight end for the purposes of his franchise tag value, which is now set at $7.05 million next season unless Graham and the Saints subsequently agree on a long-term deal.
A federal appeals panel ruled Monday that businesses don't have to prove that they were directly harmed by BP's 2010 Gulf Of Mexico oil spill to collect settlement payments.
The Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development has closed Interstate 10 from I-49 in Lafayette to Seigen Lane in Baton Rouge.
Jim Bernhard, who engineered the sale of The Shaw Group for $3 billion, recently has told several people involved in Democratic politics that he intends to run for governor in 2015.
Saluting the red, white and blue — let freedom ring
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Feel the spectrum
Unless you work for an energy company, specific decisions related to the economics, risk, etc. are not conveyed to the public. They are a closely guarded secret.
A New Orleans levee board wants to hold the oil and gas industry accountable for decades of damage to our state’s coastline, but the Legislature may be poised to put the kibosh on the suit.
Lafayette native screenwriter returns