Like a lot of people here in Richmond, I got more than a little broken up about the recent demise of Bill’s Barbecue. (One of these days, I intend to write down the story of just why Bill’s became so personally significant to me.)
Early Friday afternoon, right around the time they ran out of food due to the rush of people going to Bill’s one last time, I went to the location near my house to get one last limeade. After the woman at the cash register thanked me, I said “And I want to thank all of you, for being such a part of Richmond all these years!” and that made her smile.
On Sunday, I went to the Bill’s on Myers Street, the one where I routinely ate as a kid, just to say goodbye and drop off a card to show my appreciation for the remaining employees. Some people had shown up there in a ’57 Chevy, and they were playing ‘50s and ‘60s songs on the exterior loudspeakers. I went in and gave them the card, and got to talk to (and shake hands with) Sam Richardson. Some of the employees there were actually starting to cry when I talked to them, and Sam was so touched by the card that he gave me one of the last chocolate pies.