CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – The owner of Big Joe’s Bar and Grill, Joe Guilfoile, has passed away.

For over 15 years, friends and fans of “Big Joe” have been coming to his bar on Capitol Street to say hello to the man friends described as funny, charismatic and always willing to help others.

“Big Joe, just a gentle giant, and a wonderful guy,” said Deno Stanely, owner of Adelphia Sports Bar and Grille.

Stanley said he’s known Guilfoile for 20 years and throughout that time he’s been a big part of the Charleston community. He said Guilfoile played an instrumental role in helping restaurants stay afloat during the pandemic.

“We all shared goods when we had supply chain issues. Joe was a big help on that,” Stanley said. “We all worked with each other and we made it through the tough part. Unfortunately, this is even tougher than that because unfortunately we lost a good friend in the community.”

Before the community knew him as the owner of Big Joe’s, Guilfoile was a morning radio personality at V100.

His morning show co-host, Steve Bishop, said he was one of the most naturally creative and funny people he’s ever met. Bishop said what he’ll remember most about him is his big heart.

“Regardless of what he was doing on the radio with what we did or his place on Capitol Street he was always available to people and that’s what they liked about him,” he said. “He was just a people guy.”

Community members said downtown Charleston won’t be the same without him.

“He’s going to be missed, and my heart goes out to his family,” Paul Greco, owner of Sam’s Uptown Cafe, said.

The Adelphia Sports Bar & Grille posted a picture of Guilfoile on a golf course, saying “R.I.P. ‘ol Buddy. Thank you for everything you did for Charleston, and we’re going to miss you.”

“It is an incredibly sad day for our entire city,” Mayor Amy Goodwin said in a statement. “Our downtown will not be the same without Joe and his passion for supporting other local businesses and our community.”