Owner of Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue in Pflugerville dies
John Brotherton, the owner of Pflugerville staple Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue, died Monday, January 15, following a hospitalization in early January.
Braeden Brotherton shared the news of his father's passing in a post on the Brotherton's Barbecue Facebook page.
"My dad was the kindest, funniest, most generous, and most dependable person I’ve ever known, but I’m sure you all know that firsthand from your own interactions with him," he wrote. "You all know how passionate about his family and his craft he was. I could pour my heart out into this post for you all, but you knew him too. Every person who met him seems to have a story about how kind he was."
The family has requested privacy regarding the details surrounding Brotheton's death. They publicly shared that he suffered a "medical event" on Thursday, January 4, that left him in a medically-induced coma.
Brotherton's Black Iron Barbecue opened in Pflugerville in 2017, providing a family-oriented barbecue experience for locals. Alongside the classic smoked meats – from brisket and pork ribs, to turkey, and more – the restaurant serves unique offerings like house-made brisket boudin, a Texas banh mi, the "Pflugerville Pfilly" sandwich, and wasabi coleslaw.
The restaurant has about 1,600 reviews on Google. Its success led to its designation as one of Texas Monthly's top 50 barbecue joints in 2021.
The restaurant will continue to operate as the family navigates the loss, the Facebook post continues. Pitmasters Bill Dumas and Bobby Holley, and colleague Julia Daycock were made part owners of the business in December.
"Under their leadership we will continue serving and supporting our community and further beyond," the post says. "He would never want us to stop just because he’s gone. The next few weeks may be a bit turbulent for the business as we try to regain our footing after losing such an integral part of not just my, but our entire staff’s family, but we will persevere."
A GoFundMe was created for the family to help with Brotherton's medical bills and aftercare on January 8, and has raised over $103,000 out of its $150,000 goal, with more than 800 donations.
"John is someone who has given so much to the BBQ community and the city of Pflugerville," the GoFundMe shares. "This is an opportunity for us to give back to him, his wife Brenda, and his son Braeden when they need it the most."
Barbecue pitmasters and restauranteurs from all over Texas and beyond have showed their support for the Brotherton family with donations, including Ronald Killen of Killen Barbecue, Aaron Franklin of Franklin Barbecue, Blake Stoker of Tennessee-based Blake's at Southern Milling, and the teams at Goodstock by Nolan Ryan, LaVaca Barbecue, and more.