Young and Hungry

Friends and Family Remember Restaurateur Joey Belcher

Joey Belcher, co-owner of Sticky Rice, 1905, and Dangerously Delicious Pies, was found dead in his Capitol Hill apartment Monday afternoon. He was 37. The cause of death still unknown.

A public wake will take place on Dec. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. at Joseph Gawler's Sons (5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW), followed by a Roman Catholic funeral service on Dec. 22 at 11 a.m. at the same location.

Now, friends, family, and colleagues are coming forward to remember Belcher.

A statement from his family:

“Joey was revered by many and loved by many more,” says his sister, Mimi. “My brother’s quirky, ironic humor and wonderfully warm, magnanimous nature endeared him to all who knew him.” Joey Belcher is also survived by his parents, Joe and Irene, of Henderson, NV; his brother-in-law Sergi Ferre; and his six-year-old niece, Riley.

Among his many talents, Joey was a stunt pilot and talented musician, and owned several businesses in the mortgage and real estate industry before pursuing his passion for food and moving to DC in 2008. Originally from New Orleans, Joey was a pioneer, seeing vision in the rehabilitation of H Street, NE, and the growth of a dynamic DC food truck scene. In addition to owning Sticky Rice DC and Dangerously Delicious Pies on H Street, NE, he was a partner at 1905 Bistro & Bar on 9th Street, NW, and owned several food trucks, including Chupacabra.

Funeral plans include a public wake on Friday, December 21st from 5PM – 8PM, followed by a Roman Catholic funeral service on Saturday, December 22nd at 11AM. Both will take place at Joseph Gawler's Sons (5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW, DC).

Joey’s family requests privacy during this time of mourning.

From Belcher's business partner and friend Mark Groeschel on the Sticky Rice Facebook page:

To everyone who has been worrying about me and trying to reach out, forgive me if I have not answered every call or responded to every message – I have been inundated by love and care. Thank you all so much. I am reeling right now but I've got so much support. I'll be fine.

To those of you suffering this incomprehensible loss with me, Joey Belcher was simply an awesome guy. He was kind, sympathetic, endlessly generous, weird and funny, and he loved everyone of you. More than my colleague, my friend and my roommate, he had come to be my brother and there are no words for how much I will miss that mischievous grin. He was home and he was a huge part of my life and to carry on without him seems unimaginable right now. However, while it is hopelessly cliche, Joey is the last person in the world who would have us standing around sobbing. So, carry on we shall.

Today I will be confronting our apartment for the first time and, along with Jason Martin, trying to get things on auto-pilot so I can basically crash and ride-out Christmas with my family.

I have no information yet about arrangements but I'm sure it will be forthcoming soon.

Hang in there. 2013 owes us huge.

From friend Mark Prysler:

My deepest condolences on the passing of Joey Belcher...he showed his passion non stop each day for everything he tackled, being a true entrepeneurial visionary and an even greater friend.  While helping to consult as an administrative manager for Dangerously Delicious Pies I once sat with him crunching numbers for menu engineering.  We were trying to figure out a formula for one ingredient and the spreadsheet wouldn't click, but Joey encouraged persistence until it was figured out, all while enjoying a relaxing cigar.  He later gave me a recommendation and called to personally let me know what kind words he had written.  His ideas and numbers projections were amazing as he was always excited to build a new brand.  Above all he was a gentle understanding and friendly guy that brought the spirit of H Street everywhere he went.  He will me missed but not forgotten.


From friend Vanessa Ruth:

All of my best to Joey's friends and family. This is a hard time for many of us that will be reeling from such a hugely significant loss for some time. Joey was an innovative and successful businessman in Las Vegas, California, and Washington, D.C., but far more than that – he was an absolutely amazing character and a beautiful friend. My best memories of him include a trip we took with other friends to Catalina Island where we rode around on golf carts and later ran through Grauman's Chinese Theatre laughing and smiling as Joey was often laughing and smiling, and he compelled everyone around him to do the same. A hole will be left in our lives where his huge personality and smile once were.

If you'd like to share your memories of Joey Belcher, please email and we will update this post with your comments.

  • Brian Trascher

    Joey left behind a large extended family in his hometown of New Orleans, LA. He was one of those planetary figures whom we all seemed to orbit around. At any given time his close circle of friends could include the homeless street musician on bourbon street as well as the stuffy republican frat boy such as myself. That was just Joey.

    When we were kids I was always convinced that he would become a rock star one day. Well, that came to fruition in a different sense of the phrase I guess. But nonetheless, his wild success and scores of friends should come as a surprise to no one that knew him. If anyone is wondering if everyone from New Orleans is as eccentric as Joey, the answer is yes. But that dude took it to a whole new level. We had him first, but I guess you had him last D.C., but he was too special for any of us to hold onto for long.

    God speed JB...