Friends of a man who helped invigorate the thriving H Street corridor in northeast Washington with his restaurant Sticky Rice are mourning his death and seeking answers.
Joey Belcher, 39, was found dead in his northeast home Monday. The medical examiner has yet to release a cause of death. But the loss has hit H Street hard.
Monday afternoon, police got a call to the Senate Square apartments. Inside one of the units, they found the body of Belcher. A short while later, employees of Sticky Rice learned their boss had died.
"Joey was just such a friendly and helping guy he was definitely an Icon of H street," says Victoria Milko, a bartender at Sticky Rice.
Police launched an investigation and now are awaiting the cause of death. Friends say they can't imagine foul play.
No one expected this at all . I it wasn't something that any of us saw coming. I know Joey had plans to hang out with people this week, myself included. This has been a really hard time.
Belcher was one of the first young entrepreneurs to see potential in H street in Northeast. He and other investors infused this neighborhood with energy and turned it into one of the metro areas hippest destinations.
Belcher had an interest in several enterprises including Dangerously Delicious, a pie shop.
While they wait for answers friends and employees are clear of one thing, Belcher will be missed.
"He is just going to be greatly missed by many, many people," says Belcher's friend Aleeit Easley. "His loss with felt for a long, long time."