GARDENDALE, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s a battle between two unlikely adversaries: Jeff Dennis Jewelers and the Gardendale Chick-fil-A. It kicked off as a way to market the jeweler’s new drive-thru.
“I just put on there that our drive-thru is faster than chick-fil-a’s and that’s what started it,” Jeff Dennis, owner of Jeff Dennis Jewelers said.
Dennis captioned a post to their community Facebook page with ‘1, 2, 3, 4 I declare a sign war’ with his longtime friend and Gardendale Chick-fil-A owner Mike Holmes.
“I don’t know if he was a willing participant at the time, but I was going to call him a chicken if he wasn’t,” Dennis said.
Then one brave Chick-fil-A employee stepped up to the plate to retaliate.
“That was me. I had to come up with a little bit of a rhyme so he played off with the 1, 2, 3, 4. I had to come up with something. But yes, that was me,” Blake Smith, marketing director for both the Gardendale and Chick-fil-A locations, said.
By then, there was no turning back. Dennis summoned his best puns and announced to the city that his nuggets were superior.
“I have gold nuggets. My nuggets are better than Chik-fil-A’s chicken nuggets,” Smith said imitating Dennis. “The cows didn’t like that, that much. The cows paid him a visit. We put ‘eat mor chikin’”
Following a two-day ceasefire, while the two businesses closed on Sunday, Dennis unleashed his crown jewel.
“Of course, now his retaliation is ‘buy more diamonds,’” Smith said. “One block that way. So I’m back to the drawing board.”
Friendly beef aside, the two businesses have enjoyed the community’s response most of all. The battle of the billboards has garnered so much attention that the mayor of Gardendale decided he was getting involved on Monday.
“We wanted to present Mike Holmes an official award for how great his new landscaping looks here with all the diamonds in front,” Mayor Stan Hogeland said. “We just wanted to do that just for Mike.”
Mayor Hogeland said he’s seen the city get involved and take remarkable interest in the phony feud.
“It makes you feel good – all in good fun,” Mayor Hogeland said.
“It draws a lot of attention, a lot of positive attention to our community and business owners and it’s really a lot of fun.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, Mercy Animal Hospital has joined the war after making their billboard take a job at the jewelry store.
Both Dennis and Smith with Chick-fil-A say they’ve had a lot of fun and have enjoyed all the community response.
“One lady actually sat there and said, ‘ hey, I actually woke up this morning ready to find out who said something back. That’s how I started my day,’ Smith said.
There’s no official word on how long the sign war on Fieldstown Road will last. In the meantime, you can visit Chick-fil-A and Jeff Dennis Jewelers where you can see the billboard beef now.