Local News

Bill's Barbecue Reopens to a Flood of Customers

Posted October 19, 1999

— Nothing can stop the barbecue from simmering in Wilson. Not even record flooding.

The people at Bill Ellis Barbecue in Wilson are going to great lengths to continue serving the southern favorite.

More than six feet of water filled the restaurant last month after Hurricane Floyd. The owner says it will take more than flooding to stop this tradition.

The main building is still closed, and will be for at least five months. Food is being cooked and served out of travel trailers, and the smell of chicken and barbecue is wafting through the air once again.

Customers are lining up to dig in.

"Wilson is the barbecue capitol of the world as far as I'm concerned, and so we always come to eat at Bill's when they're open, and actually I did not know he was not open until we got riding around and saw it," says Raleigh customer Marty Owen.

Ellis is planning some big improvements for the restaurant, and says the restaurant will stay at its original location. He believes this flood was a once-in-a-lifetime tragedy, and says he would rather stand his ground than open somewhere else.

"We've been here over 37 years and we've never had a drop of water inside the building, so I'm not really worried about another flood," says Ellis.


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