Blue Willy's Barbecue is closing — but not for good.
According to Blue Willy's owner, Will Banks, the restaurant will simply be setting up shop somewhere else after a brief hiatus. Doors officially close sometime next week, and the whole operation will relocate to its new location in Oakland Park.
The reasoning behind the move is simple: Anyone who's been to Blue Willy's Pompano Beach location knows one of two things are almost always guaranteed. First, you can bet your last dollar a typical weekday lunch rush will yield a snaking line out the door and along the side of the building (especially on Thursdays when Banks serves his smoked pastrami). And second, you know finding a place to park is never easy.
And Banks knows it too. Since opening the doors to the Pompano-based restaurant in 2013, the 1,200-square-foot barbecue joint has done a raging business. And they've done it with less than 10 parking spaces, what amounts to a small slice of incongruent blacktop perched at the edge of an unforgiving stretch of Federal Highway.
This isn't the first major move Banks has made with Blue Willy's. The business originally began as a food truck that, thanks to high customer demand, prompted the pit master to open his first brick-and-mortar location several years ago.
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Blue Willy's is slated to reopen sometime in the next few weeks at the former Pollo Granjero Rotisserie Chicken building located at the corner of NE 12th Avenue and East Commercial Boulevard in Oakland Park. When it opens, the stand-alone building will continue to offer eat-in or take-out counter service where patrons can enjoy Banks' traditional Texas-style barbecue — including brisket, sausage, pulled pork, pork ribs, chicken, and smoked pastrami — now in a larger dining area with a total of 35 parking spaces.
At least now regulars and newcomers alike can count on one more thing: Getting your 'cue fix won't be quite as frustrating as it once was.
Blue Willy's Barbecue will soon be located at 1190 E. Commercial Blvd., Oakland Park. Call 954-224-6120, or visit the restaurant's Facebook page.
Nicole Danna is a food writer covering Broward and Palm Beach counties. To get the latest in food and drink news in South Florida, follow her @SoFloNicole or find her latest food pics on the BPB New Times Food & Drink Instagram.