Billy’s Sports Grill, Northport’s newest restaurant, is bringing a new dining experience to Main Avenue, fusing elements of the Tuscaloosa sports bar scene and the relaxed atmosphere of downtown Northport.
Billy’s Sports Grill, open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., is not your typical sports bar. Billy’s Marketing Manager Leigh Ann Callaway said what sets Billy’s apart from other sports bars and restaurants is the food, made fresh in-house.
Billy’s ups the ante on typical bar food. The cheese sticks are cut fresh from the block, battered and fried. Their Greek seafood nachos, which are made with shrimp, crawfish and spinach cheese sauce, bring new flavors to an old favorite.
“The food is what makes us who we are,” Billy’s Vice President of Operations Paul Humphryes said.
(See also “Chicago natives bring flavor”)
Since food is the bulk of their business, the owners of Billy’s consider it more restaurant than bar. Billy’s is family oriented but also appeals to the bar crowd with their happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m. and late hours.
“[The atmosphere] works well for us,” Callaway said. “We get a lot of business for football games, but we’re family oriented, so it’s not unusual to have mom and dad sitting here with the kids, and dad’s sitting here, and he can catch his game while they’re eating lunch.”
With the price of an entrée ranging from $7 to $14, Billy’s has something to suit most budgets and taste buds. Some of Billy’s most popular entrées include the signature chicken sandwich and wings, which have been voted Birmingham’s best hot wings in the Kick’n Chick’n Wing Fest and Best of Birmingham.
“I think once the word starts traveling, people will know that they’ll be able to come in and get a salad or a sandwich or wings or steak, and they’ll know that they’ll be able to come in here for a reasonable price and get premium food,” Humphryes said.
When Billy’s opens, they will also offer catering services. Catering options will include platters, boxed lunches and meat and three sides.
The Northport location is the newest of three Billy’s Sports Grills. Their original location in English Village in Mountain Brook opened in 1979, and they have a second location in Liberty Park in Birmingham. Humphryes said the new location is like a hybrid of the original Mountain Brook location and the updated location at Liberty Park.
In bringing a new restaurant to downtown Northport, it was important to Humphryes to match the community feel of the existing businesses and the overall look and atmosphere of the town. Matching Northport’s small-town atmosphere was an essential part of creating a neighborhood feel for Billy’s.
“[Billy’s] fits the area. It’s not like we’re going into an old area and putting a brand new restaurant in,” Humphryes. “We’re going into an old area with a new restaurant with the same look. This is not like a corporate restaurant where they get you in and get you out. I want people to feel like it’s their own personal restaurant and only they know about it.”
In addition to meshing with Main Avenue’s atmosphere, Humphryes hopes Billy’s will attract students across the river for more relaxed nightlife with quality food at reasonable prices, live music and amenities like more available parking, which can be difficult to find on the Strip or downtown on weekends.
Sports fans will have plenty of screens to keep them occupied. The main dining room features a 6-by-12-foot Holo Display, along with several other large televisions mounted on the walls to ensure patrons can get all the sports they can handle.
Humphryes and Callaway are excited by the challenge of serving the large volume of college students and seeing what he and the staff are capable of doing, especially during gameday.
“We already kind of have a plan in place for people to come and hang out with us during the day to eat,” Callaway said.
Leading in today’s Crimson White: