Jimmy John’s is located in about 20 states, but Jimmy John’s got it’s start right here in Illinois. Jimmy John Liautaud graduated second-to-last in 1982 from Cary-Grove High School. The first Jimmy John’s opened in a garage in Charleston, Illinois on January 13, 1983, with used equipment, no menu or outdoor advertisement, and only four sandwiches available with 25-cent Cokes.
Since many Jimmy John’s shops are located in college towns, catchy signs with witty phrases like amuse patrons in the restaurant:
“The customer is usually right”
“Your mom wants you to eat at Jimmy John’s”
“We’d love to see you naked but state code requires a shirt and shoes”
The “Billy Club” sandwich, which was also the name of a former restaurant at the famous “Harry’s of Arlington” site, is named after a Jimmy John’s former manager, William “Billy” Burns, who was killed in a car accident in the 1980’s.
Franchising began in 1993 — long after a prototype chain for Jimmy John’s developed.