Mobile restaurant settles downtown

Xavier Morris of Billy Boy’s Wings & Bar-B-Que serves customers every day from his food truck in downtown Albany.

Xavier Morris of Billy Boy’s Wings & Bar-B-Que serves customers every day from his food truck in downtown Albany.

ALBANY, Ga. -- Downtown diners who line up for the ultimate in portable lunch when the taco truck pulls in behind the Flint RiverQuarium on Thursdays now have a daily option for a convenient meal.

Patrons were already queuing up at the corner of West Broad Avenue and North Jackson Street Monday 20 minutes after a concession trailer from Billy Boy's Wings & Bar-B-Que settled in at its now semi-permanent location.

"We'll be here Mondays through Fridays from 11 (a.m.) to 5 (p.m.), and on weekends and club nights we'll be here 'til around 4 in the morning," Billy Boy's manager Xavier Morris said as he prepared an order of wings Monday just after noon. "It's always been one of my goals to have a restaurant downtown, and this is the start."

The original Billy Boy's opened at 2317 E. Broad Ave. a year ago, and restaurant owner Dee Cosby, Morris' sister, said the portable restaurant is part of the family-owned establishment's business plan.

"Downtown Albany, like Valdosta (where Cosby lives and works), is in a state of redevelopment and we wanted to be a part of that," Cosby said. "We're very encouraged that we had lines of customers on the first day we set up at the downtown location.

"The first year at Billy Boy's has had its ups and downs, but we've done well enough that we're planning more expansion in Georgia. In fact, we're targeting a facility in another south Georgia city in the next 90 days."

Customers were eager Monday to sink their teeth into Billy Boy's wings, hand-made burgers, sausage dogs, chicken strips, salads and the establishment's latest specialty, funnel cake fries.

"I love the fact that Billy Boy's is down here; it's one of my favorite restaurants," patron Jermaine Jackson, who works across the street at Peoples Finance, said. "This is going to be so convenient for those of us who work downtown."

Morris, the wing expert everyone calls "Zay," said he's excited about being in Albany's central business district.

"People don't realize how many folks there are working downtown; that's why I was happy to have an opportunity to set up on this corner," he said. "Now people who haven't been out to our East Albany restaurant can find out what we're about."