Six-time GRAMMY-nominated artist and Louisville native Jack Harlow performed at the Owensboro Sportscenter on Friday night as part of his “No Place Like Home” tour, but that wasn’t his only stop in town. He, his crew, and a Los Angeles-based filmmaker documenting the tour had their pre-concert meal at Wonder Whip.
Mere hours before Harlow’s tour debut at the Sportscenter, the filmmaker contacted the 70-plus-year-old hamburger and ice cream stand to ask if it would be OK if they stopped by the restaurant.
Wonder Whip Owner Seth Woodward said of the Friday afternoon phone call with the filmmaker, “He told us Jack had heard good things about us and wanted to know if it would be okay if they stopped by in an hour or so to hang out and grab a bite to eat before opening the tour at the Owensboro Sportscenter.”
With Wonder Whip dedicated to maintaining its nostalgic Americana vibe, it’s ironic that the film crew will use the content from their visit for a cutting-edge virtual reality film made for Facebook’s Metaverse.
Within an hour of the call, the production crew had arrived. Harlow and his team weren’t far behind.
“Part of me thought, ‘Is this some form of prank?’” Woodward said. “This was not a normal business day for us. The crew showed up with 360-degree panoramic cameras and the latest technology, and the next thing you know, Jack Harlow and his crew were walking across our parking lot.”
Woodward said the Wonder Whip crew proudly served everyone and did their best to extend a warm Owensboro welcome.
“We are very grateful for this opportunity, and we would like to thank Mr. Harlow, his team, and the production crew for spending time with us,” he said. “They were all extremely professional, kind, and courteous, and we made numerous new friends throughout the process.”
Harlow touts more than 10 billion career streams, multiple No. 1 hits, appearances in “Rolling Stone” and on Saturday Night Live, and 6.8 million Instagram followers. He completed a sold-out world tour in 2022.
The “No Place Like Home” tour is Harlow’s way of performing in front of fans from the Commonwealth and collecting donations for local nonprofits through the Jack Harlow Foundation.
“This tour is a gift to us Kentuckians living in smaller, rural markets, who would never have an opportunity to see such an accomplished artist in our backyards,” Woodward said. “Thanks again, Jack. We wish you much-continued success, and we are proud to call you a fellow Kentuckian.”
Harlow took a selfie with Woodward and several of the Wonder Whip employees. He ordered a Double Wonderburger with cheese, fries, and a banana split.
“His team placed a large order. One of our employees took his order and did a great job like they always do,” Woodward said. “We wanted to be hospitable but also create the same experience we do for all our customers.”
Woodward was unsure why Harlow picked Wonder Whip, other than the producer telling him that he had “heard great things.” The restaurant did give away two tickets to the concert on its Facebook page as a promotion earlier this month, and he thought it could be Harlow’s way of returning the favor.
Whatever his reasoning was, Woodward and his team certainly appreciated it.
“Owensboro is thirsting for things like this to happen – this was great for the city,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if you like his music – that’s irrelevant. With this tour and his foundation, he’s transcending music and entering an entirely different dimension. These are the type of things you hope and wish for as a small business owner.”