Bill's Bar-B-Que still open along Benham Avenue

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By: Marshall V. King
mking@flavor574.com

Marshall V. King/Flavor 574

UPDATE: Bill’s Bar-B-Que on Franklin Street obtains food license, Sept. 16

Elkhart still has a Bill’s Bar-B-Que open.

The original location at 1592 W. Franklin St., Elkhart, had cut hours and has been closed by the Elkhart County Health Department. A location at 2426 Benham Ave., Elkhart, remains open seven days per week.

When Will Lee opened the Benham location in July 2014, he used the smoker at the original location. Earlier this year, he got a smoker at the former Long John Silver’s where he and his wife, Shannon, operate their business and stopped using the other one. His father, Alfred, had been operating it, he said, but they haven’t spoken about the recent events.

Alfred started the business in the 1980s and for many of those years, Bill’s has been the only or one of the few barbecue businesses in Elkhart. Will operated a location along Cassopolis Street for a few years. The Franklin Avenue location closed in 2005 and reopened in 2009.

When news hit of the closing of the Franklin Street location, Will’s phone rang a lot. He had three catering orders planned for that weekend. He fulfilled all of them and has been assuring customers.

“We want to let people know we are here,” he said.

In addition to the ribs, rib tips and chicken that have been the mainstays of the business for years. He’s added brisket, which he smokes eight to 10 hours, he said. It’s available by the pound for $19 or as a sandwich for $8.99.

Bill’s Bar-B-Que is open 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 10:30 to 10 Friday and Saturday, 10:30 to 8 Sunday.

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