Wilson's Bill Ellis Barbecue heading to auction
Posted January 28, 2021 1:34 p.m. EST
Updated February 2, 2021 6:35 p.m. EST
Wilson, N.C. — A Wilson landmark is going on the auction block.
Bill Ellis Barbeque closed two years ago after Ellis died.
Real estate agent Chuck Williamson said he spent more than a year trying to sell some of the Ellis land.
Now, the restaurant is one of seven parcels in the area listed for sale on an online auction site.
Williamson said the online auction will help reach a national audience.
“Bill Ellis made a legend out of that barbecue restaurant, and people came from a long way away to eat there,” said Walter House, owner of House Auction Co. “A smart entrepreneur in the food service business could do that again.”
House said he used to eat at Ellis' restaurant.
"This is a man's lifetime of hard work and entrepreneurship," he said.
The restaurant has seen its share of ups and downs, including flooding several times during major hurricanes.
"The intersection of Forest Hills Road and Downing Street does flood when there's a hurricane or a real significant event," described House. "People in Wilson are aware of that, but that's never slowed Bill's restaurant down. It's never impeded it. They've kept on rocking."
Other locations for sale include Wilson’s convention center, Luka's Auto Body & Glass, Seltzers Services garden center, Leonard Buildings & Truck Accessories and the former Merita bread store.
The auction is expected to start in mid-February with 14 days of bidding.