Legacy lives on after restaurant founder’s passing

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BRANSON, Mo. — 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.

Blong passed away at the age of 83 back in December. Her husband passed in 2012. Before their passings, the two sold the restaurant and went into retirement. That was back in 2016.

Of course, Gail remained a presence at Billy Gail’s well after her retirement.

New owners tell Ozarks First, 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 expect some upgrades.

Some upcoming changes include:

  • an expanded parking lot
  • more eating space
  • an expanded menu
  • a larger kitchen

Randy Blong, Gail’s son, will remain on as manager and says Billy Gail’s great food and tradition will not change.

“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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