Donald Eric Little
Donald Eric Little

Donald Eric Little, 61, of Hollywood, MD passed away suddenly and peacefully on Sunday, May 1, 2022.

He was born on July 16, 1960 in Pittsburgh, PA to the late Faber Donald Little and Eleanor Ann Pryce Little.

Eric was raised in Johnstown, PA and graduated from Mercersburg Academy.  He owned and operated J.R.’s Bar & Grill, the iconic Washington, D.C. tavern, for 26 years – purchasing it in 1996 after serving as bartender and manager since its opening in 1986. He also owned several former bars and restaurants including Cobalt Dance Club, 30 Degrees Lounge, and Level One restaurant in Dupont Circle for 20 years as well as J.R.’s Bar & Grill in Denver, CO. He started the nationally famous 17th Street High Heel Race in 1986 which still draws thousands of spectators and runners every Halloween.

He mentored hundreds of employees and “counseled” thousands of customers over his 36-year career – never meeting a stranger and always remembering names and details. He enjoyed boating on both the Potomac and Patuxent Rivers for over 40 years and was an expert water and snow skier. His infectious smile and witty sense of humor made him a people magnet and he was much loved in the Washington D.C. and St. Mary’s County communities.

Eric is survived by his partner of 20 years, Barry Spencer; his brothers: Rick Little (Pavis) of Falls Church, VA,  Tom Little (Christine) of Biglerville, PA; and Ben Little (Elizabeth) of McAllister, MT; his nieces and nephews: Benjamin Little, Casey Little, Samantha Little, and Tyler Little; and many extended family and friends.  He is preceded in death by his parents.

Family will receive friends for Eric’s Celebration of Life on Wednesday, May 18, 2022 from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., with a Memorial Service at 7:00 p.m., at Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A., 22955 Hollywood Road, Leonardtown, MD 20650. Interment will be private.

Memorial contributions may be made in Eric’s name to the Alzheimer’s Association, 225 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, IL 60601 or

Condolences may be made to the family at

Arrangements by Brinsfield Funeral Home, Leonardtown, MD.

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