Jack's, originally known as Jack's Hamburgers, is a fast food restaurant chain with locations in several southeastern states. It was founded in 1960 by Jack Caddell as a single walk-up stand at 2831 19th Street South in Homewood.
The original menu featured items such as fifteen cent hamburgers and fries, twenty cent shakes, and a twenty cent "Fish-On-A-Bun." Jack's rapidly expanded and by the mid-1960s, there were at least nine locations in Birmingham area, plus one store each in Jackson, Mississippi and Charleston, South Carolina.
Jack's targeted most of its advertising at children. Part of this advertising was sponsoring local children's television shows hosted by Cousin Cliff, Bozo the Clown, and Sergeant Jack. Many Birmingham residents still remember the early Jack's jingle:
- Jack's Hamburgers for 15 cents
- are so good...good...good,
- you'll go back, back, back
- to Jack's, Jack's, Jack's
- for more...more...more.
In the mid to late 1970s, Jack's was expanding into south Alabama and the Florida panhandle. In the 1980s many of these locations began to close, but at least one individual was having success with Jack's. Benny LaRussa, primarily involved in the grocery business, had purchased a single franchise in the '60's. In 1979, LaRussa abandoned groceries and purchased a franchise territory of 13 Jack's stores. From then until 1988 he expanded his territory to 33 stores. Then, in 1989, LaRussa purchased the total franchise rights to the Jack's concept.
In 2006 there were approximately 76 Jack's locations across four states. Jack's Family Restaurants, Inc. is still a privately-held company with one franchisee, Manna Enterprises, Inc. The original Jack's in Homewood was recently renovated and, since the construction of SoHo Square, occupies a newly-privileged spot directly in front of the new Homewood City Hall. Jack's corporate headquarters are at 124 West Oxmoor Road in Homewood.
Jack's restaurants were originally walk-up stands with a slanted roof and vertical orange and yellow stripes on each side. The original signs featured "Jack's" in five individual white rectangles with the word "Hamburgers" on a separate sign underneath. In the late '60s, the chain began converting their walk-up stands to full, dine-in restaurants. Most upgraded restaurants featured faux stone walls. In the mid '70s Jack's began using new signage featuring the name written on an angle in white inside a red circle; the word "Hamburgers" was dropped. In the early 2000's, Jack's changed the logo from the original, all capital font to a mixed-case font. It still appears on the familiar red circle, but the circle is smaller so that the text extends outside of it.