Wake and Funeral Scheduled for Owner of Sticky Rice

Police officers found Joey Belcher, the co-owner of Sticky Rice, dead in his Senate Square apartment at 2nd and I Streets NE at around 3:30 p.m. on Monday December 17, 2012. Belcher was 37 years of age.

Police officers responded to a report of an unconscious person inside of an apartment, Officer Tisha Gant of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) confirmed.

The cause of death is unknown. There will be an autopsy.

Opening in 2008, Sticky Rice, an Asian fusion restaurant and winner of Washington City Paper’s Best Tater Tots 2010 was one of the leading forces behind the revitalization of the H Street corridor.

We lost a creative mind that we had on H Street,” said Anwar Saleem, director of H Street Mainstreet. “He brought a good creative mind, good creative business to H Street. We hope that his great business goes on.”

"Great entrepeneur. He had a significant role in revitalizing H Street, a very important corridor in the city of Washington," tweeted Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells.

“To those of you suffering this incomprehensible loss with me, Joey Belcher was simply an awesome guy. He was kind, sympathetic, endlessly generous, weird and funny, and he loved everyone [sic] of you. More than my colleague, my friend and my roommate, he had come to be my brother and there are no words for how much I will miss that mischievous grin.” Mark Groeschel, Belcher's business partner, posted on Sticky Rice's Facebook page.

Employees and fans of Sticky Rice from around the country have posted condolences and memories on the restaurant’s Facebook page, and the page’s background picture has been changed from a Christmas theme to all black.

There will be a public wake on Friday, Dec. 21 from 5 to 8 p.m. A funeral service will follow on Saturday, Dec. 22, at 11 a.m. The wake and subsequent service will both be held at  Joseph Gawler’s Sons located at 5130 Wisconsin Ave. NW.