A Madison County landmark and regular community-gathering place for the past 30 years will close at the end of the month.
Bill’s Bar-B-Que, located at the corner of Hwy. 29 South and Fortson Store Road, will serve up its last plate of pulled pork sandwiches, stew and chicken mull on Saturday, Dec. 28.
Brothers Tom Patterson and Bob Lance say they’re excited, and a little nervous, about closing up the place they’ve lived and breathed since opening it with their older brother and the restaurant’s namesake, the late Bill Lance, on Sept. 9, 1983.
“It’s just time to hang it up,” Lance said. “I’m not sure exactly what I’m going to do after being a part of this for so long. Really, truly I dread it.” His wife Brenda still works part-time and he jokes that “she may go full-time” when he’s home all the time.
Lance retired from a phone company after 36 and half years; before that he worked his “day job” then came to Bill’s at night to cook and work the counter. After retiring from the phone company, he settled into working more at Bill’s.
His half-brother, Tom Patterson, will continue running Patterson Farms with his wife Carol. The farm on Sanders Road is a sheep farm where they also train sheep dogs and runs annual sheep dog trials.
And especially as they prepare to close the doors, the brothers remember their older brother Bill Lance, who died ten years ago.
Brothers Bob Lance (L) and Tom Patterson will close Bill’s Bar-B-Que at the end of the month. They opened it with their brother, Bill Lance, the restaurant’s namesake, 30 years ago. Margie Richards/staff
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