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.
Local and state agents Thursday night raided The Keg, the popular college bar located in the area known as The Strip, leading to the (at least) temporary closure of the venue.
Here's your daily look at late-breaking national and international news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Friday, April 18, 2014:
Friday's Blogs from the Bog!
Time and time again, the Lafayette Parish School Board shows an overwhelming tendency toward idiocy, but Wednesday night’s contentious discussion over Northside High School’s teen mother program tops the list of dumb discussions.
C & C Technologies, HIT Fitness, R3 Sciences, the Acadiana Symphony Association and the United Way of Acadiana recognized for innovation.
“The accomplishment of this goal within the next ten years is not only critical for the region to effectively compete with other regions for residents and businesses, but also to provide an amenity for everyone in Acadiana to enjoy.”
Education Superintendent John White says a continued push to try to keep Louisiana from using tests associated with the Common Core education standards are creating "a state of chaos" for public school teachers.
The Acadiana Symphony Orchestra has decided to end its traditional Independence Day spectacular known as Red White & Boom.
Under the deal, Teche shareholders would get 1.162 shares of IberiaBank for each share of Teche stock.
Gov. Bobby Jindal's plan to use $210 million in surplus and one-time money to help balance next year's budget received the backing Thursday of the State Bond Commission, support that was needed for the maneuver to work.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
State wildlife and fisheries agents have arrested a 39-year-old man accused of stealing crawfish.
An East Feliciana Parish lawmaker has jettisoned his proposal to make it harder for a condemned prisoner to appeal a death sentence.
Senators advanced a proposal Wednesday that would let the governor remove New Orleans-area levee board members for violating what he considers to be public policy, despite concerns it would introduce political meddling into state flood protection.
The must have pieces this season
Dave Perkins, LCG Comp Plan honored along with local architects and designers at the 2014 INDesign Awards
Greg Manuel’s Lafayette-based residential development company is taking advantage of exponential industrial growth in Lake Charles.
Longtime Lafayette retailer ventures online.
It’s not how aggressive or conservative you are — it’s planning for risk that matters most.
Thanks to cutting-edge digital technology, more and more consumers are banking on ATMs and mobile phones.
Regional bank bids farewell to Downtown May 30
ABiz takes a look back at the most noteworthy moments for the local banking industry over the last year.
Most experts say short-term interest rates will be unchanged through 2014, but long-term rates are inching up.
Largest recruitment event in Acadiana returns May 21 to the Cajundome Convention Center
A lawyer’s ad should only be a starting point, as there is much more to consider when seeking quality representation.
Thanks to the inaugural 2012 INNOV8, a design for lifting heavy objects was brought to market.
The annual juried competition recognizes excellence in architecture, interior design and historic preservation in Lafayette and the five surrounding parishes.
Cypress Bayou GM hosts open house.
New hires, promotions, transfers in Acadiana business
The scion of a landmark Four Corners restaurant climbs back into Lafayette’s culinary scene as franchisee for a popular burger chain.