Jack in the Box in Chicago?

Having grown up in Chicago, I have no memory of ever seeing a Jack in Box in the city or the Chicagoland area. Was there a time when there were Jack in Box restaurants in Chicago? A review of their website shows no current locations in Chicago. I think all the Illinois locations are in Southern Illinois.


In the early 70’s, there were.

And then, there were a horrible, ongoing series of food poisoning scandals there.

And then, they closed.

I remember it from my boyhood.

Later, there were rumors that it was a whisper/slander campaign, by a bigger fast food chain. Unproven, as far as I know.

I used to frequent two: one in Hoffman Estates and one in Palatine. Both sucked, but they served a valuable purpose at 3:00 am when you’re drunk.

There was one here, locally, either in Homewood or in Chicago Heights. I disctinctly remember the surreal looking “Jack”.

We never went there-my mom didn’t allow us to eat fast food (smart woman!).

It closed mid-70s or sooner–it may have stood empty for a time and then was raized.

I saw a Jack in the Box ad on television this week. I wonder if they’re coming back?

(My first thought was “isn’t the the food poisoning place?” so it’s probably too soon.)

I remember eating at a Jack in the Box in the late 70’s early 80’s. I was visiting my cousins and my uncle took us to one. I thought it was tasty, and it had a ton of mustard. It was nothing like what I see in California, and it definitetly didn’t have that super-creepy, incarnation of evil mascot. The one I remember going to was on Fullerton and Kedzie, or was it Kimball? It was definitely on Fullerton.


Y’all are missing out.

The local one was at Clark and Ridge. It was manned by the “Cockroach Lady,” so named because of her appearance. She stood about 4 feet tall in her 3 inch platform shoes and wore HUGE glasses - something like this.

Did they serve tacos?

There was also a Jack in the Box in Skokie–I’m pretty sure it was on Golf Road.

Does anyone remember their little jingle from the '70’s?

“Pack up the kids
And crank up the car
To Jack in the Box . . .”

Ah, yes, the one in Palatine was still around when I was a kid.

There was one on the southwest corner of Fullerton and Central Ave in the late 70s. I remember getting a Popeye floppy record with my food when I was a kid back then. I tend to remember something about food poisoning and then the Jack-in-the-Boxes were gone from Chicagoland. That location then became a McDonalds, which is still there, I believe.

There was one in Lombard, I’ve been told, too. It then became a Brown’s Chicken, supposedly… in the parking lot on the northeast corner of Roosevelt Rd and Main St.

I live right there and there have never been any fast food places by those intersections. It must’ve been further west or east on Fullerton.

I recall a Jack In the Box on Joe Orr Road in Chicago Heights. It was OK.

In the mid-70s there was a Jack in the Crack on the SE corner of Western and Addison - right across from my HS.

Are you sure about Hoffman Estates? Could you mean Hanover Park?

I worked at the Burger King in Hanover Park in the summer of '78 and when we done cleaning the place (at 1 am) we would go over to the JinB on Barrington Road just north of Irving Park.

I then switched BKs and started working in Hoffman Estates, more or less the corner of Higgins and Roselle (it’s still there). I worked there for three years–two of them as a manager while I completed community college–and lived in Hoffman several years beyond that. I ate in every imaginable fast-food joint in the town (even Arby’s, which in those days was vile.) It’s impossible that a Jack-in-the-Box in Hoffman Estates could have escaped my attention, although there’s a remote possibility I have just forgotten about it.

I vaguely recall one in the Mt Prospect area. Think it was on Rand Road across from Mt Prospect Mall.

Regardless of where they are or were, if you don’t have one nearby, you’re not missing much. :smiley:

I believe there was one on North Ave. in Elmhurst. Mom took us there a couple of times. I think the only real draw was the talking clown thing, but mostly for the weirdness factor, not because we liked clowns. Don’t recall any food poisoning thing, but when you’re 10 that kind of thing goes over your head unless you’re directly affected.

The Jack in the Box food poisonings were in Washington state in the early 90’s, was there also a rash of food poisonings in Chicago earlier?

I recall the Clark/Ridge store. My recollection of growing up in Chicago in the 50’s/60’s is that Mexican food wasn’t all that popular. Perhaps this might explain so few “Jacks.” Matter of fact, in the Edgewater area, in that era, I don’t remember and Mexican restaurants other than the previously mentioned Jack.

I lived in the Chicago suburbs until I was 10 (in 1975). Back then, Jack in the Box wasn’t uncommon in Chicago (as others have posted). I distinctly recall the TV ads featuring Rodney Allen Rippy, which would have been around 1974.

I moved back to Chicago in 1989. At that point, I’m pretty certain that Jack had pulled out of the Chicago market.

I had thought, especially back in the 1970s and 1980s, that Jack was primarily a standard hamburger-based fast-food chain.