When I first heard that the Jimmy John’s sandwich chain was coming to Elmwood Avenue, I actually didn’t mind that it was a chain store. I’ve never been against chain stores because I always felt that a diverse selection of goods and services benefits a community, and that with the growth of cities, one must anticipate the arrival of a few chain stores. Even with the arrival of Starbucks back in the day, many people felt that a city just wasn’t a city without the popular chain. In my heart, I always knew that people would support the locals, and that there was probably room for everyone as long as there was a healthy mix of big guys and little guys.
Getting back to Jimmy John’s, it was in the thread of this BRO post, regarding the chain coming to Elmwood, that one of the commentors mentioned that the corporation’s owner, James John Liautaud, was purportedly a big game trophy hunter and liked to bag rhinos, elephants and leopards. When I heard that, it was enough for me to know that I was either going to A) personally never step foot into the business, or B) write an article and post it on this site.
It turns out that Artvoice made my decision for me, as they printed an article titled Great White Hunter Opens a Sandwich Shop on Elmwood. For some reason, that article is no longer accessible, but Chicagoist Daily has all of the info on the owner/hunter in this article. Fortune Magazine also has the scoop. So does Grub Street. And Business Insider, among numerous others. Hopefully more and more people will hear about this guy, and realize that his sandwich business is fueling his big game trophy trips.
Last year I helped to throw an event called Buffalo Roars for Tusks and Horns, so you can pretty much imagine what I think about Liautaud and his penchant for blowing away majestic animals for fun. Everyone is aware that these animals are having a hard enough time surviving without macho, gun-slinging, sandwich chain owning, megalomaniacs on the loose. For that reason alone, I personally will never give a dime of mine to this business. And I was happy to hear that WIVB reported that Lupton wasn’t feeling welcome in Buffalo to begin with, due to this city’s anti-chain stance (never heard that from Starbucks). That alone is pretty darn funny – couldn’t have happened to a better guy.
Well, apparently Lupton isn’t going to feel the squeeze on his wallet if Buffalonians don’t support his business. A friend of mine clued me in that his superyacht is making the rounds on magazine covers, including the one in the lead photo. The 197′ feadship, valued at $90 million, was custom built for the elephant killer.
So the next time you’re hankering for a sandwich, and you’re on Elmwood Avenue, try Joe’s Deli. They’re local, they have great food, and the owner probably doesn’t have a megayacht that he uses to take trips to distant lands to sit behind a bush and blow away animals that could crush him in seconds if he wasn’t wielding a lame-ass elephant gun.