BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The founder of the popular bar, the Flora-Bama, has passed away, according to a Facebook post.

Joe Gilchrist took over the Flora-Bama from the Tampary family in 1978. The family posted to the Flora-Bama Facebook page about Gilchrist’s passing.

The Flora-Bama’s founding father, Joe Gilchrist, has gone home to be with his Creator.  Joe was born on April 17, 1942 and went home on May 25, 2022 at the age of 80.  Joe built a legacy and culture around treating others with kindness and respect, asking only for the same in return.  Given the opportunity to take over the Flora-Bama by the Tampary family in 1978, Joe’s love for other human beings started, and he built a party and celebration of life that will go on forever.  Joe was a philanthropist, a community leader, and an unwavering and untiring supporter of the U.S. Military and his country.  He would be proud to remind everyone that Memorial Day is a time dedicated to remembering and honoring those that have fought and died for our country.  Joe created the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival which brought together artists of all kinds and funded musical programs for local youth.  His love of songwriters and music would earn him the title ‘Patron Saint of Songwriters.’ We love you Joe and thank you for making all of our lives better, and for the selfless way you lived your life.

The Gilchrist Family

The family is asking for privacy at this time and said they will release more information about a celebration of life in the near future.