Good food. Good music. Good atmosphere. It’s what Bill-E’s is all about: providing Fairhope residents and vacationers alike with a casual place to eat “killer grub,” according to owner William “Bill-E” Stitt.
Bill-E’s, formerly Old 27 Grill, opened in 2011 as a culmination of two of Stitt’s passions: a love for restaurants and a love for bacon. “I have been in the food service industry since I was a teenager — well over 30 years. My father sold packaging, and I fell in love with the restaurant side of the business.”
Where does the bacon come into play you ask? Bill-E’s makes their own small-batch bacon on site, a pretty fitting operation for a place well known along the Eastern Shore for their burgers, sandwiches and fries. With the tagline of “serenaded by songwriters, savored by carnivores,” you know it has to be good.
Making his own bacon has been a long-time dream of Stitt’s that with the creation of Bill-E’s, he finally had the to opportunity to bring to fruition. He’s used years of trial and error to perfect the recipe, the curing method and the smoking process. From the type of specially bred pig to the pink curing salt and heavy-duty brown sugar made with real molasses, Stitt takes the time to combine the best ingredients with the best process. “When Berkshire red pigs and Chantilly white pigs get together, magic happens,” he said. “Technically it’s bacon but most folks just call it tender and juicy homemade slices of pork infused with savory hickory and maple.” One of the keys to his bacon-making magic is the eight-day curing process for the bacon – no more, no less than eight days. Stitt explains, “You may never buy supermarket bacon again, which is kind of the point.”
Much like perfecting his bacon-making process, Stitt calls owning his own restaurant a labor of love. “Everything is a challenge, but also an opportunity,” he said. His most recent challenge is one facing many Gulf Coast businesses: how to still safely operate during COVID-19.
Bill-E’s has adapted like many other restaurants across our area and the country. They offer to-go options, so quarantine doesn’t necessarily mean a shortage of delicious bacon-covered burgers. “We will get through this, and we will be stronger. We’re just looking out for folks who are in need and staying positive.”
Note: Bill-E’s is Bellator Real Estate & Development’s April 2020 LoLo monthly client gift for the Eastern Shore. Contact your Bellator REALTOR® for details.