The original Bill’s Bar-B-Que is back and will be open six days a week starting Monday, Jan. 11.
Owner Alfred Lee said he has been fighting leukemia, but in the fall he and his wife, Deloris, reopened the longstanding barbecue joint at 1592 W. Franklin St., Elkhart.
The Elkhart County Health Department closed it briefly due to licensing and a lack of inspection, but the Lees got it open again in mid-September. It has been fully licensed and open for lunch and dinner Wednesdays through Saturdays, but now will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day but Sunday.
“Business is going pretty good,” said Alfred Lee.
Lee’s son Will worked with him in the business in a variety of ways since Lee opened it in 1992. There were other locations and the original was closed about four years before reopening in 2010, Lee said.
In summer 2014, Will opened a second location at 2426 Benham Ave., Elkhart, in a former Long John Silver’s building. At that location, Will Lee and his wife, Shannon, have been building their own business and worked to establish catering.
The two businesses are both operating and are separate. “He got his place on Benham. We’re not affiliated with each other,” the father said.
The original location uses the pit built decades ago and a mix of oak, hickory and charcoal to smoke the meat, Lee said. “They like the barbecue with wood and charcoal,” he said of his customers. “It’s the original Bill’s Bar-B-Que. We use my original pit, not a smoker.”