Controlled chaos could best describe the scene during the grand opening of Pahrump’s newest eatery, as Jack in the Box opened its doors to customers Thursday morning.
The business, at 640 S. Highway 160, between China Wok Buffet and Tire Works, had customers lined up at least 45 minutes to an hour prior to its 9 a.m. ribbon cutting and grand opening.
Franchise Operator Jyoti Madhura was beaming with excitement as he watched the parking lot begin to fill up with cars, trucks and motorcycles.
“This is a very exciting day and I am very thrilled to be part of this community now,” Madhura said. “Without the community support we could not have done this and we are certainly going to serve the community. Our main focus is guest service. We always say one thing back to our customers, which is to say ‘yes’ to the guests no matter what. That is the principle that we follow.”
As far as local reaction to the opening, Madhura said he wasn’t really surprised.
“I expected a very busy turnout for today, and I am very thrilled with the reaction from the community,” he said. “I know people in the community have been waiting for a Jack in the Box for a very, very long time. Finally, we are here. I was expecting a lot of people to show up this morning.”
It’s about time
One Pahrump resident in line roughly an hour prior to the grand opening was Harley Kulkin, a local business owner.
Kulkin, a 20-plus year resident, was also the chairman of the now-defunct Pahrump Town Board.
Madhura actually invited Kulkin to cut the ribbon, seconds before the doors opened.
“I’ve been living in Pahrump for more than 24 years, so I’ve been waiting 24 years for a Jack in the Box to arrive here in town, so this is a fantastic day for me,” he said. “In all seriousness, they probably have the biggest menu of any fast food establishment. Their prices are very reasonable. All the ones that I ever went to in Las Vegas, the customer service was tremendous.”
Among the items on the voluminous menu, Kulkin said he has an all-time favorite.
“I really love those tacos and the Jumbo Jack with cheese, so I will definitely be a regular customer,” he said. “I wanted to be the first paying customer here. The general contractor was talking to me and said he was going to be first. I figured he would probably get a free meal, so I hope to be the first paying customer.”
Richard Goldstein is a 10-year Pahrump resident, who also arrived at the business roughly an hour before the doors opened.
“I’m a longtime fan of Jack in the Box,” he said. “It is very good food and it’s inexpensive. We got here about 8:15 because we knew there would be lines forming for the 9 a.m. opening. I will certainly be a regular customer.”
Goldstein also agreed with Kulkin’s remarks regarding the menu items at Jack in the Box.
“They have a very wide variety on their menu and they have a lot more items than anybody else,” he said. “Their prices are more reasonable than the other two fast food places here in town. I really love their tacos, which is my favorite menu item, but now they have a new sandwich, which is a ribeye burger. It’s 100 percent ribeye steak. No doubt we will be trying that as well. We fed five people for $20 and you can’t beat that.”
Madhura, meanwhile, said his business is fully staffed, as he held a soft opening late Wednesday afternoon.
“We opened for two hours just to make sure all the equipment is working fine, and there were not any problems or issues,” he said. “We have hired close to 60 employees from the local community. We are so excited to be part of this fine community. We are quite different from the other fast food establishments. I truly believe in quality and that’s what you will receive when you visit our business. We have to make sure that the guest service is always there.”
Madhura and his two partners own 15 Jack in the Box locations in Las Vegas, as well as several Del Taco locations in California.
Business hours for Pahrump’s location are 5 a.m. to midnight in the dining area, while the drive-thru is open 24 hours a day.
“We are going to post our company’s website and telephone number here,” Madhura said. “If any of our guests have any issues, they can call directly and we can fix the problem right away.”
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com, on Twitter: @pvtimes