Historic Downtown Northport is home to art galleries, museums, unique stores and some of the best eateries in town. Billy’s Sports Grill is the latest restaurant to open its doors in Northport. Originating in northern Alabama 35 years ago, this sports bar now has three locations across the state. Marketing Manager, Leigh Ann Callaway says that the downtown Northport spot reminded them of their English Village location in Mountain Brook.  Owner Terry Humphryes is a graduate of The University of Alabama and an avid sports fan of The Tide. Coming and going from the Tuscaloosa area often, Humphreyes knew Historic Downtown Northport would be the perfect location for his restaurant.

At first glance, from the outside, the place looks smaller than it is actually is. Inside, there are two large rooms for dinning and a full service bar. The new ownership completely renovated the space with gorgeous hard-wood floors and dark-wood furniture that bring the place to life. The bar area is beautifully crafted with ornate lighting mimicking the downtown area décor.

The atmosphere in the restaurant is inviting, calm and relaxing. Large flat screens line the walls with a massive projection screen demanding attention when walking into the dining area. During my visit, the crowd was a mixture of college- aged kids, families and an older crowd meeting for coffee and dessert. My husband and I enjoyed the atmosphere and appreciated that the televisions and radio were quiet enough that we could carry on an actual conversation.

The menu is uncluttered and organized which makes it very easy to navigate. A variety of foods are offered from starters to specialty sandwiches, salads, classic sports bar entrées, and desserts. To help satisfy southern cravings, a meat and three special is offered during lunch, Monday through Friday. When asked what sets the restaurant apart from other sports bars, Callaway replied, “The fresh kitchen.” For each menu item the food is prepared fresh and sauces are made from scratch. Two bottles of specialty sauces sit on each table throughout the restaurant: Billy’s White Sauce and Hot Mustard Sauce. These are delicious and can be purchased in bulk!

To kick off the meal, fried pickles are a must. Evenly fried, crispy pickle chips are served with a large side of ranch dressing. They were more than fresh, leaving a very generous puddle of grease in the bottom of the basket. Salty, savory, and satisfying was the verdict. Honestly, it is hard to go wrong with fried pickles.

While the dinner salads were nothing to jump up and down about, the entrées were delivered within fifteen to twenty minutes after ordering.  Our choices were a salmon sandwich with fries and fettuccini alfredo with jumbo shrimp.  Each meal was plated beautifully and had more than generous portions. The salmon was evenly charred with nice grill marks. It was flakey and cooked nicely, leaving a light pink color. A big, buttery bun made a nice bed for the oversized salmon. Served with the dish was a side of made-in-house creamy tartar sauce which complimented the fish well. The fettuccini alfredo was made was light and creamy and topped with large jumbo shrimp, a pleasant pasta dish that was not oversaturated with sauce. Each meal item was very affordably priced, bringing the ticket to just under $35.

Relaxing atmosphere, wonderful food and outstanding service are not the only things Billy’s has going for them: They have a packed calendar of events ranging from trivia to open mic night.

Weekly specials include Happy Hour which runs daily from 2 – 6 p.m. with $1 off beer, well drinks and glasses of wine. You can also enjoy Wine Down Wednesday and Tip Your Glass Thursday with half-priced bottles of wine.

On April 9, from 6 – 9 p.m., Billy’s Sports Grill will be hosting a special open-mic night, “Tips for Tuscaloosa”, in partnership with Arts n’ Autism, an after school and summer program serving pre-school-aged children to young adults with autism. Arts n’ Autism offers opportunities for these students to take part in supervised visual and performing arts activities. Hope Cassity, one of Nashville’s very own singer song writers, will perform along with other local favorites like Victoria Camp, John Miller, and Brian Futch. Open-mic sign-up is at 5:30, so get there early. All tips collected will be given to the Arts n’ Autism program. Help make a difference and support this noble cause while enjoying a satisfying, affordable meal.

Billy’s Sports Grill is located at 430 Main Avenue, Northport. Hours of operation are Monday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. – 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. – 10 p.m., and Sunday from 10:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Sunday Brunch 10:30 a.m. – 3 p.m.).

Cindy Huggins is a registered dietitian nutritionist and local “foodie”! Follow her on twitter @DietitianCindy.

And let us know what you think about Billy’s Sports Grill! Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly.


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