Under Construction: Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que

Chef Jonny St. Laurent has leased the former Bayside Variety at 166 Cumberland where he plans to open Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que (website, facebook, twitter). According to the cover letter supplied with their liquor license application,

The restaurant will be a reincarnation of the famous Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que that originally opened in 1989 in South Portland…The new location will feature many of the same smoked meats along with some new ideas that will be in line with the original concept.

Here’s a look at the draft menu (page 46):

The 32-seat restaurant will be augmented in the summer time by an “outdoor dining area in the back, outfitted with Maine-made picnic tables” behind the restaurant. St. Laurent hopes to open Uncle Billy’s in October for lunch and dinner 7 days a week.

Here’s the floor plan:

Saint Laurent last operated a restaurant in Portland called Uncle Billy’s Resto-bar at 653 Congress Street in the space currently occupied by Kushiya Benkay. Uncle Billy’s closed in 2007. He also had run restaurants in South Portland, Portland and Yarmouth in the past.

0 comments on “Under Construction: Uncle Billy’s Bar-B-Que

  1. Hello PFM. Wanted to mention, I had probably one of the best gyros in Portland today at Crown Fried Chicken on St. John St. today. This location has a separate owner than the one on Forest.

    I’m not sure why they don’t get listed on the map. While I appreciate that its a chain, these shops are owned (I believe) by local immigrants. The lamb chops and rice are unique to our food scene and highly spiced and flavorful and I hope to try the kebabs as I expect they’d be the same. But at the very least, if the gyro I had today is consistent, it deserves a mention, imho.

    Can’t help thinking that some of our immigrant restaurants don’t get as much attention from the wider food audience – the bloggers, the newspapers, etc. Not sure what can be done, there aren’t really many independent bloggers like there used to be pre-Yelp/pre-FB reviews. I always wonder if our population did more to support them, they would do better, produce better food and we might see more variety. Just a thought. Cheers!

  2. You’re right, back a few years ago there were far more active food blogs. Nearly all of them restaurant reviews providing a wider diversity of perspectives and covering a wider range of restaurants – immigrant owned ones included. With the growth of social media, people who otherwise would have published a blog have found other outlets.

    I think the immigrant owned businesses are less visible in part because they’re less focused on the marketing/PR aspect of their businesses. A blog that tried to bridge that gap could be of great service to that community.

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