WILLIAMSBURG, Va. (WAVY) — When you think about BBQ in our area, chances are one of the restaurants that pops up is Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que in Williamsburg. Well, over the next year, this local staple is celebrating all the days leading up to its 50th anniversary!

“Both of my parents were 55 years old when they opened the restaurant,” says Jay Pierce.

Jay says it took his parents a year to build and open Pierce’s Pitt Bar-B-Que on October 15, 1971. He says, at the time, the restaurant looked more like a fruit stand in a horse pasture.

“We took in $80 that first day. Sandwiches were $0.85 and a drink was a quarter. Fries were $0.35.”

Jay says his family was broke in the beginning days of the restaurant, but his father was adamant they were going to succeed.

“I can remember him telling me ‘Try this. Taste that. Do you like this? Do you like that?’ and explaining to me what the difference of the spices do and what he was doing was creating a BBQ sauce.”

Over the last 50 years, Pierce’s grew.

“When we started out, we were cooking one box of Boston Butts a week and now we can do 3,000 pounds in a day vs. 60 pounds in one box,” Jay says.

Over the years, this business survived being cut off from the main road because of highway expansion, an arson on the property, and now a pandemic. Jay credits good quality food, community support, and his employees with Pierce’s success over the last 50 years, and he looks forward to paying it forward over the next 50 years.

“I appreciate everyone who comes through the door and we’re thankful for every customer. We’re thankful for all the support.”

Jay tells WAVY.com over the next year he plans to hold specials and give-a-ways at the restaurant to celebrate this big anniversary.

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