INDIANAPOLIS – The man who fed Central Indiana by creating the “world’s largest cafeteria” passed away in Greenwood, Indiana on August 20 at the age of 57, of cardiac arrest. The Greenwood restaurant/cafeteria is called Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria, and is considered a top cafeteria-style dining room among nearby metropolitan Indianapolis restaurants as well.
Also a well-known race car owner, Jonathan Byrd‘s racing team participated at the super-famous Indianapolis 500-mile race in Speedway, Indianapolis at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway between the years of 1985 and 2001. Several drivers that Byrd sponsored made it to the top ten at the Indy 500, including John Andretti, Stan Fox, Scott Brayton and Gordon Johncock. The name of Jonathan Byrd was listed for the 2002 Hall of Fame at the Indianapolis Speedrome.
The successful businessman is also still remembered at the Indy 500 for setting up a huge marquee to offer his Greenwood restaurant cafeteria food to hundreds of media representatives and racing personnel site during those pleasant months in May.
An active and charismatic person, Jonathan Byrd was also a successful hotelier, with hotels covering the Southwest under his parent company, Byrd Enterprises. Jonathan Byrd’s Rare Books and Bibles was a venture close to his heart and no less successful than the rest.
It seems, in fact, that everything he touched turned to gold. An activity that may have been his favorite had nothing to do with business, however. For many years, he founded Christian ministries and supported them with funds and his own inimitable energy.
Jonathan Byrd was confined to a wheelchair in 2004, when he suffered a stroke, and was obligated to spend the rest of his life in a nursing home. Services are still pending.
Jonathan Byrd’s Cafeteria
100 Byrd Way
Greenwood, IN 46142