Jones BBQ Diner in Mariana suffers extensive fire damage

The Venture Center, a nonprofit organization, is helping to raise money after Jones BBQ in Mariana was heavily destroyed in a fire on Sunday, Feb. 28.

The Venture Center, a nonprofit organization, is helping to raise money after Jones BBQ in Mariana was heavily destroyed in a fire on Sunday, Feb. 28.

According to the Marianna Fire Chief Terry Sandefer, a call came in around 10:45 a.m. in reference to the fire that began in the pit area of the building.

Chief Sandefer said the building was not completely destroyed but 70% of it was damaged. However, there were no injuries.

“If we lost Jones Bar B Q, it would be a tragedy for the Jones family, for Arkansas, and for all Americans who champion Black entrepreneurs and their businesses. Please help raise the needed funds to rebuild this iconic Arkansas restaurant and to save the Jones family business,” The Venture Center said in the post linking to a GoFundMe to help rebuild what was lost in the fire.

Click here to be redirected to the GoFundMe page raising money to rebuild Jones BBQ.

According to the Chicago Tribune who wrote a profile on the iconic BBQ joint, the diner may be the oldest restaurant owned by a Black family with barbecue sales dating back to 1910 and possibly earlier.

We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.