Farewell, Johnny Ray’s

07.1.2009 by Andr√© Natta · → 20 Comments

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johnnyrayslogoThe word out in the Twitterverse that yesterday was your last chance to enjoy food from Johnny Ray’s – at least as we knew it. The current owners of the 55 year old local barbecue chain have decided to retire with different plans being made for all of the existing locations.

The chatter online has been sparse, though it was apparent that the changes were expected, though some early moves left folks unsure.

Thanks to @bmcgraw for the heads up on the news about the local franchise.

Logo: courtesy of the restaurant’s website.

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Filed under: food

20 comments
John Morse
John Morse

Just out of curiosity, is "The Terminal" aiming to be more of a news source or a social medium?

John Morse
John Morse

Just out of curiosity, is "The Terminal" aiming to be more of a news source or a social medium?

Final Taxi
Final Taxi

Glad Alton cleared the air. This is the way businesses should operated. Using social media to clear the air about rumors. Nice to know Johnny Ray's is paying attention.

Final Taxi
Final Taxi

Glad Alton cleared the air. This is the way businesses should operated. Using social media to clear the air about rumors. Nice to know Johnny Ray's is paying attention.

Alton Shields
Alton Shields

You're welcome Andre....Please spread the word. Johnny Ray's may have been down, but not out for the count. The Ray family, current franchisees and the Johnny Ray's brand have experience enough challenges through the years. Now, we are a committed group of restaurant operators and franchise owners that want nothing more than to make our customers happy. Visit any of our six (6) stores that are currently open and definitely don't be a stranger to the two (2) stores, Vestavia Hills and Trussville, that are about to re-open. Thanks for your support and loyalty.

Alton Shields
Alton Shields

You're welcome Andre....Please spread the word. Johnny Ray's may have been down, but not out for the count. The Ray family, current franchisees and the Johnny Ray's brand have experience enough challenges through the years. Now, we are a committed group of restaurant operators and franchise owners that want nothing more than to make our customers happy. Visit any of our six (6) stores that are currently open and definitely don't be a stranger to the two (2) stores, Vestavia Hills and Trussville, that are about to re-open. Thanks for your support and loyalty.

Alton Shields
Alton Shields

Folks...I thought I would join in your conversation. My name is Alton Shields, and I am the President & Managing Director of The Johnny Ray Companies, Inc. located in Birmingham. We are the Franchisor of Johnny Ray's. The Ray family is still the owner of the brand and going strong after 55 years of continuous service. That makes us one of oldest (if not the oldest) barbeque chains in Birmingham in particular and the south in general. It is encouraging to know that this false information (Johnny Ray's closures) was an area of concern and disappointment for you all. We are not closing down as a franchise. In fact we are in the process of opening new locations with our updated look like the one at the Publix Pelham Towne Center that was mentioned by Jason. In addition ,you may have noticed that the Johnny Ray's-Colonnade store has been totally remodeled with our new look as well. The Chelsea store jsut celebrated its 5th anniversary as a franchise location by remodeling, and being named "the best restaurant in Chelsea." We have had some issues with "renegade" franchisees in the past that have caused our chain to suffer a few black eyes from the poor service that they provided. However, we are happy to say that some of these locations that have been closed and are in the process of being re-opened by the company. In fact look for the Vestavia and Trussville locations to re-open soon. We are also expanding into Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Auburn to name a few places where the great taste and tradition of Johnny Ray's will soon be experienced. Again, thank you for your love and support of our food, restaurants and brand. We look forward to feeding you, your families and friends our delicious barbeque and Honey's Pies for years to come. Alton C. Shields President The Johnny Ray Cos., Inc. dba Johnny Ray's

Alton Shields
Alton Shields

Folks...I thought I would join in your conversation. My name is Alton Shields, and I am the President & Managing Director of The Johnny Ray Companies, Inc. located in Birmingham. We are the Franchisor of Johnny Ray's. The Ray family is still the owner of the brand and going strong after 55 years of continuous service. That makes us one of oldest (if not the oldest) barbeque chains in Birmingham in particular and the south in general. It is encouraging to know that this false information (Johnny Ray's closures) was an area of concern and disappointment for you all. We are not closing down as a franchise. In fact we are in the process of opening new locations with our updated look like the one at the Publix Pelham Towne Center that was mentioned by Jason. In addition ,you may have noticed that the Johnny Ray's-Colonnade store has been totally remodeled with our new look as well. The Chelsea store jsut celebrated its 5th anniversary as a franchise location by remodeling, and being named "the best restaurant in Chelsea." We have had some issues with "renegade" franchisees in the past that have caused our chain to suffer a few black eyes from the poor service that they provided. However, we are happy to say that some of these locations that have been closed and are in the process of being re-opened by the company. In fact look for the Vestavia and Trussville locations to re-open soon. We are also expanding into Huntsville, Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Auburn to name a few places where the great taste and tradition of Johnny Ray's will soon be experienced. Again, thank you for your love and support of our food, restaurants and brand. We look forward to feeding you, your families and friends our delicious barbeque and Honey's Pies for years to come. Alton C. Shields President The Johnny Ray Cos., Inc. dba Johnny Ray's

Jason McCay
Jason McCay

Nope...there is actually a new one located off of Exit 242 next to the new Publix. That area serves the Highway 11, Ballantrae and Weatherly areas.

Jason McCay
Jason McCay

Nope...there is actually a new one located off of Exit 242 next to the new Publix. That area serves the Highway 11, Ballantrae and Weatherly areas.

Jonathan
Jonathan

You're not talking about the one by Movie Gallery and Gold's Gym right? That's been there for at least a few years.

Jonathan
Jonathan

You're not talking about the one by Movie Gallery and Gold's Gym right? That's been there for at least a few years.

Jason McCay
Jason McCay

They just opened a brand new location in Pelham, just off of I-65. Is it believed that this location will shutter with this announcement?

Jason McCay
Jason McCay

They just opened a brand new location in Pelham, just off of I-65. Is it believed that this location will shutter with this announcement?

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

We want to be a place that gets folks to slow down and get them to see what's going on around them in Birmingham, AL. Sometimes we can do that by "reporting" while other times just getting folks to maybe look at more than one side of an issue. Hopefully we can do both without having to be pigeon-holed into one category by anyone.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

We want to be a place that gets folks to slow down and get them to see what's going on around them in Birmingham, AL. Sometimes we can do that by "reporting" while other times just getting folks to maybe look at more than one side of an issue. Hopefully we can do both without having to be pigeon-holed into one category by anyone.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

Thanks for joining the conversation, Alton. I'm happy that you were able to clear the air and provide some additional information for our readers.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

Thanks for joining the conversation, Alton. I'm happy that you were able to clear the air and provide some additional information for our readers.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

No; from what we can tell, the ones that are open will operate under new ownership. It should not lead to that location closing, but we'll have to wait and see.

Andre Natta
Andre Natta

No; from what we can tell, the ones that are open will operate under new ownership. It should not lead to that location closing, but we'll have to wait and see.