Steak ‘n Shake coming to Tiger Town. Jack’s coming back to S. College. Auburn’s classic burger joint revival is nigh.
But Jack’s appeal to once-upon-the-Plains nostalgia could be lost on at least a certain segment of Auburn alumni who may remember the Birmingham-based fast food franchise’s first expansion into Auburn in the Fall of 1965 not for the cheap thrill of 15 cent hamburgers, or those adorable, fully transistorized tiger radios (perfect “for the girl friend”), but as a violent threat to their way of life.
First off, Jack Cadell—THE Jack—was tearing down the “green house” on the corner of Thach and College, a local landmark built by John Hodges Drake, Auburn’s first campus physician 88-years earlier, and out of wood; a “metal and glass hamburger establishment” was just too close to comfort for one fraternity who feared litter from the place—apparently “Mad Men” got it right—would cramp its style.
For another fraternity, the Phi Delts, the concern wasn’t litter but light pollution from the head lights.
Even Auburn’s drama department was causing drama, contending the hum of the hungry traffic would drown out the plays in the theater across the street.
But worst of all? The thing was going to be red and white. RED AND WHITE. I mean, they were practically begging vandals to wreak $1,000 worth of havoc on its plumbing system and to burn the “Jack’s Hamburgers Coming Soon” sign to the ground. And they did.
Thankfully, Auburn students put down their Molotov cocktails long enough to sign a petition of protest that was presented to Jack, who according to The Plainsman “compromised with the student group by adopting a policy pledging to hire a full-time cleanup man to curtail any mounting litter problem, erect a fence to keep car lights from shining in the Phi Delts’ faces, and ‘alter’ the colors to match those of the University across the street,” as opposed to the university across the state.
¡Viva Auburn Revolución!
* 78 never-before-seen photos of the Kopper Kettle explosion of 1978
* Rare candids of Pat Sullivan at the 1971 Heisman banquet
* That time Green Day played an Auburn house show
* The G.I. Joe from Auburn
* Two campy degrees of separation between Auburn and Swamp Thing
* I Survived the Kopper Kettle Explosion and all I got was this T-shirt