Photo by Allie Appel
Longtime restaurateur Jay Prothro, founder of the eponymous Jay’s Bar-B-Q, died Sunday after a brief illness. He was 86.
Prothro opened the first Jay’s Bar-B-Q in the mid-1950s in a former hot dog stand on Government Street, and it quickly became a beloved neighborhood institution. It later moved down the street to a new location, and other Jay’s outlets opened throughout the city.
Though Prothro retired more than 30 years ago, the restaurants he founded are still operated by his family and friends, who remember him today as a tireless worker and a people person with an indomitable spirit.