Johnny Ray's

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Johnny Ray's was a chain of barbecue restaurants operating in the Birmingham area]] from 1953 to 2022. The first location opened by Johnny Ray moved into the newly-opened Roebuck Shopping Center in 1957. A second location at the Midfield Park Shopping Center opened before 1960. Ray moved the main restaurant to Valley Avenue in 1985.

The chain was known for its pulled pork and chicken barbecue (offered in "blonde" or "brunette" for white or dark meat) and for its signature "Honey's Pies" (banana, chocolate, coconut and lemon cream pies).

Ray's daughter, Dee Wood, opened a second location with her husband, Gary, and son, Chad, on Gadsden Highway in Trussville in 1990. That location closed temporarily after Wood retired in 2009.

Most Johnny Ray's locations were operated by The Johnny Ray Companies, Inc., headed by Alton Shields. The Chelsea location was bought by Jack and Michelle Donovan in 2017. It closed during the COVID pandemic. The last Johnny Ray's location, at the Shops of the Colonnade, closed on May 21, 2022.



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