Aberdeen’s historic red brick buildings are a beloved part of the town’s charm, and legend has it at least one of those bricks is made out of hamburger.
“In 1904, Bob Brickford was the master brick mason building the structure that now houses Billy’s Bar & Grill. On a cold winter day, he bought some hamburger for his crew, started a fire, formed a round ball from the hamburger, and smashed it between two bricks,” says Sonny Bridges, reading from the Billy’s Bar & Grill menu.
You may or may not be able to find 100-year-old ground beef in the walls at Billy’s, but you can honour that history with the ‘Brick Burger,’ a half-pound of ground chuck, shaped like a brick, served on a square ciabatta bun with cheese, lettuce and tomato.
Lucky 7 House Rules
Billy’s has been a staple on East Heron Street for 40 years, and Sonny Bridges has been there since the beginning, alongside business partner Gary Running.
“I started in the restaurant business when I was 14 years old, and I’m 77 now. The business drives you — in restaurants you’re doing things all the time, you’re always doing something,” he says.
The ‘Brick Burger’ is just one example of the sense of community — and sense of humor — you’ll find at Billy’s.
“Billy’s is just a fun place. It’s has an old nostalgic, comfortable atmosphere, with good food mostly made from scratch and a great selection of craft beers on tap.”
The original Billy G. (yes, the restaurant is named after a real person) was an unsavory character, but his ‘Lucky Seven’ house rules are still in effect at the restaurant today:
- Always serve high quality food and beverages.
- Be generous with the portions.
- Give the fastest, friendliest service in town.
- Operate a lively, but orderly establishment.
- Have a rip-roarin’ time every St. Patrick’s Day and New Year’s Eve.
- Always sell the house liquor at half price on every lucky Friday the 13th.
- Encourage the customers to Share the Luck by offering a toast to Good Health, Good Cheer, Prosperity for All and a round of drinks with the first Royal Flush.
The restaurant is also popular with paranormal investigators — it seems Billy’s sordid past may have left a ghost or two haunting the bar, so be on the lookout for apparitions as you enjoy your meal.
A mainstay in Aberdeen for 40 years
“Aberdeen’s gone through a lot of changes. There’s only a few restaurants that stand out, and Billy’s is one of the main ones,” Sonny says. “The community has supported Billy’s through the pandemic, and we’ve kept mainly the same crew as well. It’s been difficult, but we’ve survived it OK thanks to that support.”
Visit Billy’s for breakfast, lunch or dinner, open seven days a week at 322 E Heron St. in Aberdeen.