Sadly, the founder of one of Buffalo's most popular soul food and barbeque restaurants has passed away. The news was announced today, November 22, 2021, by his son, the current owner, and operator. According to a media alert, Issac “Ike” Gray passed away yesterday, November 21, at Erie County Medical Center. Born on December 12, 1937, in Wetumpka, Alabama, Ike came to Buffalo in the 1970s. He had his wife, Betty “BG” Gray, opened the iconic restaurant at 1743 Genesee Street in 1998. In 2001, the restaurant moved to one of its current locations, 1646 Genesee Street. Now operated by his son Steven Butler, Ike & BGs has expanded to a new location in downtown Buffalo. Steven issued a statement about his father's passing,
“With deep regret and profound sadness, we announce the passing of my father and Ike and BG’s founder Issac “Ike” Gray. Mr. Gray died peacefully at Erie County Medical Center on Sunday evening. He was a father, friend, and an honorable man who loved his family and community.
In 2017, I acquired Ike and BG’s Restaurant to continue my father’s legacy. I did this by making changes to the menu, advocating for beautification in the restaurant’s community, implementing marketing strategies, and opening a second location in downtown Buffalo. Today the Ike and BG’s family mourns the passing of Mr. Gray, but we celebrate his life. In the days leading up to the funeral, we will display a black veil that will hang at the Ike and BG’s downtown location, where my father made his last public appearance in celebration of the ribbon cutting and 2022 groundbreaking announcement for our restaurant rebuild.
Our doors will remain open for business. We appreciate your patience as our family grieves. Information on funeral arrangements will come soon.”
Our thoughts are with the family and loved ones of Mr. Gray.
Popular BBQ and Soul Food Restaurant in Buffalo Opening 2nd Location
Ike and BG's Restaurant opened its second location at 56 Niagara Street, near Niagara Square. The owner, Steven, welcomed customers into the new location on Wednesday, October 13. The menu features Ike and BG's signature items, like BBQ ribs, mac and cheese, and chicken.
Ike and BG's original location will also undergo a total rebuild. Earlier this year, the restaurant's plan to open a complex on Genesee Street was approved by Buffalo's Common Council. In the spring of next year, Ike and BG's will break ground on its mixed-use development, which includes the restaurant's dining space, a banquet hall, three commercial retail spaces, and a dozen two-bedroom apartments. You can check out Ike and BG's restaurant's website for its full menu.