Bill's Barbecue closes five locations

Published: Apr. 14, 2012 at 1:33 AM EDT|Updated: Apr. 19, 2012 at 2:13 AM EDT
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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) – A Richmond favorite is closing its doors.  Bill's Barbecue, which has been open for more than eighty years, closed most of the locations in our area.

Like so many Richmonders, the Bradbury's are regulars at Bill's Barbecue.

"I don't think I've tasted better," Ronnie told us.

Friday night, they stopped by to grab some legendary eats on their way to the Squirrels game.

"It's good," exclaimed 7-year-old Coleman.

They're not alone in their family tradition.

"I'd heard about it before I'd even come here," mom Laura said.  "Having a place to bring your family that's close to a lot of events is very beneficial."

Rhoda Elliott runs the Richmond favorite.  Her dad was Bill.  Closing five locations hurts her heart.

"Is it hard," she pondered aloud.  "It's probably one of the hardest things I've ever done."

Like many, they've fallen victim to the economy.

"Business has not been as good in the last three years at any of them really," Elliott explained.  "I think any restaurant owner will tell you the last four to five years have been very challenging."

When Bill's celebrates its 82nd birthday in June, there won't be as many locations on the list. The Regency Square, North Fourth Street, Midlothian Turnpike, Hull Street Road and Broad Street Road in Manakin-Sabot locations are now closed.

In all, Bill's had to let go twenty employees.

"It is very difficult because Bill's is family owned and operated just a local small company and our employees are our family," Elliott said.

There is good news; however, three locations are still ready to serve you.

"To hear that Bill's would be closing permanently, I don't think that's something I could take," Elliott told us.

That's music to diner's ears.

"If they keep it open, I'll come," Ronnie Bradbury said.

The three locations kept open are the restaurant's main shops.  They're on Myers Street, West Broad near Libbie Avenue and of course, North Boulevard by The Diamond.

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