Hayward Spears Sr. of Hayward Pit BBQ restaurant dies at 88


Hayward Spears Sr.

Thatcher Funeral House

Hayward Spears Sr., the previous proprietor of longtime Kansas Metropolis space barbecue restaurant Hayward’s Pit Bar B Que, died Oct. 2 on the age of 88.

Spears, a legend within the Kansas barbecue scene, additionally served in management roles on the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce, Overland Park Conference and Guests Bureau and Basis Board of the Johnson County Group School.

“It’s not often someone gets to do just what he wants to in life like I have,” Spears instructed The Star in a 1997 report.

He moved from his household’s farm close to Hope, Arkansas to Kansas Metropolis on the age of 19 for a job washing dishes at 60 cents an hour. It was 1954 and cooking barbecue was his dream. His father had taught him to smoke beef and ribs at a younger age over a yard pit.

A buddy helped Spears open his first barbecue place in 1972 at ninety fifth Avenue and Antioch Street, the place he met his spouse Hattie Spears, who labored on the restaurant making barbecue sauce, baked beans and potato salad. The couple had three children: daughter Greta Warren; sons Christopher Spears and Hayward Spears Jr.

Success for Spears got here quick, however not simple. The enterprise endured floods and theft. Clients crammed into the tiny restaurant, which later moved from its authentic location in 1981 after which was purchased by a former worker, Eric Sweeney, in 2014.

“I sure never thought [the business] would take off like it did, it’s surprised me no end,” Spears instructed The Star.

He defined that it was about time he stopped working and targeted on his household. However he remained a presence on the planet of Kansas barbecue, typically frequenting Hayward’s Pit and chatting with clients.

“I have so many wonderful, wonderful faithful friends and no matter where I go — the grocery store, the gas station — they call out ‘Hey, Hayward,’” he instructed the Star. “I was getting on a plane and someone recognized me. He asked me if I had any ribs.”

This story was initially revealed October 14, 2022 5:28 PM.

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Hayward Spears Sr. of Hayward Pit BBQ restaurant dies at 88

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