Local News

BBQ legend, founder of Wilson restaurant dies at 83

WILSON, Wilson County - Bill Ellis, founder and owner of Bill Ellis Barbecue, died Monday from complications related to a broken hip, The Wilson Daily Times reports.

Called the "Microsoft of Barbecue," Ellis, 83, was the founder of Bill Ellis Barbecue, regarded as one of the most popular BBQ restaurants in North Carolina. His sister-in-law, Tanya Neville, told The Wilson Daily Times he fell and broke his hip on Feb. 21.

Ellis started Bill Ellis Barbecue in 1963 as a hot dog stand in Wilson. He quickly became famous for his restaurant's BBQ, chicken and other pork products, adding catering services to his Wilson location, according to the restaurant's website. His restaurant and business have been highlighted by numerous print, radio and TV organizations, including shows on The Food Network.

He retired in 2015, his sister-in-law told the newspaper. He's survived by his wife, Tracy Ellis, three children (one who preceded him in death) and six grandchildren.

 


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