ROCHESTER, NY – The sign out in front of J-Ribs on State Street was quite clear. “Proud to be black-owned,” a huge sign read at the convenience store and U-Haul rental lot. That did not stop thugs from this weekend’s Black Lives Matter rally in Rochester from burning owner Jesse Barsdale’s business to the ground.
Three U-Haul trucks destroyed at J-Ribs on State Street.
Owner Jesse Barksdale says he was bounced out of bed to respond.
Livid over the destruction of his business. pic.twitter.com/7FKPtD6mmS
— Charles Molineaux (@WHEC_cmolineaux) September 6, 2020
“Last night our business fell victim to violence spurred by misdirected anger. I wanted to make this post to share Jribs on State St. is a native Rochester owned business,” Barksdale said. “We certainly are not the enemy in this scenario and are deeply saddened by the violence that occurred last night. In these trying times, we as Rochestarians need to COME TOGETHER for our city and build each other up, not destroy one another regardless of dividing factors. We hope you all can help us spread peace, love, and positivity going forward.”
According to a story published last month in the city’s Democrat & Chronicle newspaper, Barksdale grew up in the poverty-stricken section of northeast Rochester and built an unconventional combination of a convenience store and U-Haul rental stop…with some of Rochester’s most amazing slow-cooked ribs. He had saved all of his savings after working at Men’s Warehouse for ten years.
Barksdale showed pictures of the trucks burning and burned out. J-Ribs is known for some of the best home-cooked soul food and ribs in the neighborhood. Today, Barksdale is left to rebuild his business.
“I have had several people reach out about what they can do to help, or where they can send donations I have attached my Venmo account. We are in no way requesting donations but it is there for those who would like,” he said. “The best thing you can do to help would be to come by the shop, chat with us and meet us, and help us grow our business by being a patron! Remember our shop is highly versatile, in addition to selling food we are also a convenience store AND a Uhaul rental/pick up destination. Thank you to those who support us, as we support you back!”
Photos by J-Ribs, Rochester.