VCNews | Jones Bar-B-Q-Diner Hosts Grand Reopening Event After Devastating Fire 

Posted on July 14, 2021
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The Venture Center team poses with new Jones Bar-B-Q Diner sign, provided by DoorDash

For Immediate Release
Contact Becky Pittman

Jones Bar-B-Q-Diner Hosts Grand Reopening Event After Devastating Fire 

Global community provided $67,000 in donations to help restore famed diner

Marianna, ARK. July 14, 2021 – Community partners gathered today in Marianna, Ark., to celebrate the grand reopening of the legendary pit barbeque diner, Jones Bar-B-Q. A crowd of Jones Bar-B-Q fans and supporters gathered for bar-b-que, refreshments, and a facility tour.

Jones Bar-B-Q Diner owner Harold Jones hosted the event to thank the community for their support and encouragement after the diner suffered extensive fire damage the morning of Sunday, February 28. At the event, Arkansas historian and local food expert Rex Nelson shared the historical context and impact Jones Bar-B-Q has had in Arkansas.

“This place is more than a restaurant,” Nelson shared. “To earn a James Beard Award, you have to be part of the social and cultural fabric of your community.”

The global community offered swift support to rebuild the iconic diner, resulting in fundraisers to offset Jones’ financial loss. Little Rock’s The Venture Center spearheaded one fundraiser that raised $67,000, with contributions pouring in from as far as New Zealand. 

The Venture Center’s Wayne Miller said, “We’ve learned in this process how much the world cares about Marianna and Jones Bar-B-Q. To be able to support this historic business has been a privilege for us.”

Mr. Jones spoke at the event. “I’m just proud,” said Jones. “Thank you all for coming out.” 

Other speakers included Steve Higginbothom, Arkansas historian Rex Nelson, Marianna Mayor Jimmy Williams, and the Marianna Chamber of Commerce.

After the ceremony, Mr. Jones served his famous barbeque and provided a tour of the rebuilt facility. 

About Jones BBQ
According to Wikipedia, Jones Bar-B-Q has been open since at least the 1910’s, is believed to be the country’s oldest Black-owned restaurant, and was Arkansas’ only James Beard Award-winning restaurant in Arkansas when it won in 2012. The James Beard Foundation deemed the diner “An American Classic.”

About The Venture Center
The Venture Center is a globally recognized Arkansas-based Entrepreneurial Support Organization (ESO) that helps entrepreneurs turn their start-ups into viable, high-growth businesses. By leveraging the expertise of a world-class team of mentors, intensive programming, and introductions to the investor community, The Venture Center serves as an engine for economic growth in Arkansas and beyond. Learn more at Follow The Venture Center on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter(@VentureCenter), and Instagram.