3007 Downing St.
Wilson, N.C., 27893

Bill Ellis Barbecue has been around for more than 40 years.

This restaurant is completely home-grown and nationally known. Founder Bill Ellis was born in Wilson County in the early 1930s.

A hardworking person, Ellis grew up in Eastern North Carolina learning self discipline and helping his family through hard times.

Bill Ellis Barbecue was created in 1963 when a small hot dog stand on a street corner sparked Ellis’ attention. At 29 years old, he opened his first business.

For Ellis everything about the food was important from the type of potatoes to the pigs.

For many years, Bill Ellis fought insurmountable odds to build what is now Bill Ellis Barbecue. Bill’s has grown into an 850 seat restaurant operation.

The business continued to grow into a massive enterprise. In addition to the restaurant, an outside service consisting of a fleet of catering trucks and mobile kitchens was created to deliver Bill’s world-famous barbecue and fried chicken from coast to coast. The fleet can be seen at celebrity functions, governors’ mansions, and even the American Medical Association, which calls for Bill’s Catering Service to serve “the other white meat” in Chicago. This fleet of around 30 trucks and 18 wheelers, combined with the restaurant, feed over 1 million people a year. Ellis even designed these rolling kitchens himself and holds patents on them.

Ellis has been honored and received many awards for his contributions to the food industry. Included are an award from The National Pork Producers in the area of pork research, Restauranteur of the Year, and the N.E.E.R. (North Eastern Entrepreneur Roundtable) Entrepreneur of the Year award (to name but a few).

Love This Barbecue or Leave It Stranger, 1995

Bill’s makes national news with other Eastern North Carolina barbecue heavy hitters.

“I don’t think I had the best barbecue around until I started raising my own pigs.” – Bill Ellis