by: Chrystal Blair, Ozarks First
Customers are worried about the future of a popular restaurant after the passing of its longtime owner, Gail Blong. Gail and her husband Billy founded Billy Gail’s, located in Stone County on Highway 265, back 1995.
Billy passed away in 2012 while Gail passed away at the age of 83 back in December. Before her passing, Gail retired in 2016 turning the property over to her son and daughter. That was back in 2016.
Of course, Gail remained a presence at Billy Gail’s well after her retirement.
Now the property has been bought by the owners of Flat Creek Restaurant in Cape Fair, and the new owners tell Ozarks First that while the cafe is currently closed for the season, the restaurant (and the original owners’ legacy) lives on. In fact, the cafe’s owners say restaurant patrons should also expect some upgrades while the staff will remain the same and the Blong’s son Randy will remain on as manager.
Some upcoming changes include:
- an expanded parking lot
- more eating space
- an expanded menu
- a larger kitchen
“One of the biggest things, when [the new owners] came to us originally to buy the restaurant, was they don’t want to change Billy Gail’s,” Randy said. “Basically I’m going to do kind of a general manager-type position. Help these guys out where I can.”
Billy Gail’s is expected to re-open Feb. 19 and will have an extended lunch, closing at 3 p.m. instead of 2 p.m.
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