Founder of Jenkins Quality Barbecue dies

Published On: Jan 04 2013 03:00:13 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 04 2013 03:02:39 PM EST

The founder of a well-known group of Jacksonville barbecue restaurants has died.

Melton Jenkins Jr., of Jenkins Quality Barbecue, died Wednesday from pneumonia. He was 89.

Jenkins lived in Jacksonville his entire life and opened the barbecue restaurant in 1957 with his wife, Willie Mae.

There are now three locations: on the Northside, Southside and downtown.

Second and third generations of the family are now involved in the business.

One thing that drew many customers to the restaurant was their mustard-based barbecue sauce. The restaurant's also been a popular stop for presidential candidates.

Walter Mondale visited there with members of the Jenkins family in 1984. John Kerry visited the restaurant in 2004, and President Barack Obama was scheduled to visit in 2008, until the death of his grandmother forced him to change his plans.

A funeral for Jenkins will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the First New Zion Missionary Baptist Church at 4835 Soutel Drive.