Build out underway for new BBQ restaurant in West Bend

August 21, 2019 – West Bend, WI – The build out is underway for the new BBQ restaurant set to open before the end of the year in West Bend.

Billy Sims Restaurant

David Ebert from D&D Handyman Services in Allenton is framing out the interior.

Clay Covert of Slinger is the one behind the opening of the Billy Sims Barbecue in the Washington Plaza, 1442 W. Washington Street. It’s the strip mall on the north side of the road that includes Little Caesar’s Pizza, Subway, and China Town.

Billy Sims BBQ

Billy Sims restaurant opening in West Bend

Covert’s store would be on the east end of the strip mall in the former AT&T location.

Originally from Detroit, Covert is familiar with former NFL player and Heisman Trophy winner Billy Sims.

A few years ago Sims opened a couple restaurants, grew them into an up-and-coming franchise with stores primarily in Oklahoma, Kansas and a couple in Detroit, Iowa and Colorado.

This will be the BBQ’s first opening in Wisconsin.

Billy Sims

Covert describes it as a “southern BBQ chain” that features pulled pork, brisket, turkey, chicken and ribs. “One of the unique things they serve is baloney and what really sets it apart is all the meat is smoked with pecan wood; it gives it a more sweeter taste,” he said.

During his research Covert focused on the West Bend area because he wanted “a community that would be big enough to support the restaurant, but not Milwaukee.”

“West Bend seemed like the perfect choice because it’s close to where I live, it’s a good size city and one of the greatest things is nobody really specializes in barbecue in this area,” he said.

The franchise format is considered “fast casual.”

“There will be plenty of seating, carry out and we will do a lot of catering,” he said. “The style is similar to a Qdoba where you place your order, go down the line and get your food.”

Click HERE to look at the menu.

Covert is expected to employ about 15 part timers and is expected to open in late fall.


Adam Williquette, Broker and Owner of American Commercial Real Estate oversaw the lease of the space.


Graphics courtesy Billy Sims BBQ

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