KINGSPORT, Tenn. (WJHL) – Pal Barger, founder of Pal’s Sudden Service, passed away at the age of 90.
A Pal’s Sudden Service spokesperson confirmed that Barger died on Thursday afternoon of natural causes.
Barger has been in decline for the past two years, according to the company.
After serving in the Air Force and earning a business degree at East Tennessee State University, Barger opened Pal’s first site in 1956 on Revere Street in Kingsport.
Today, there are 30 Pal sites spread across Northeast Tennessee and Southwest Virginia.
The Barger was featured in Josh Smith’s ‘Tri-Cities Original’ segment that aired in 2019.
Barger’s wife Sharon, a famous businessman, passed away at the age of 72 in 2018. She founded Sharon’s BBQ, which used to sit on the corner of West Center and Clay Street in Kingsport, and ran Skoby’s before. here with her husband.
In recent years, Barger has overseen a succession scheme with Thom Crosby as his right-hand man. Life slows down for a man known for his sudden service, but he never forgets his reason for success.
“If you give them good food and good service… they’ll be back,” said Barger in a Tri-Cities Original interview.
His death even caught the attention of Governor Bill Lee, who, in a tweet Thursday night, called Barger “a real Tennessean” who “would be missing out a lot”.
This is a development story. Find updates on WJHL.com.