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Supporter spotlight: Bills Place Caf
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Bill Welch had originally wanted his bar to have a 60s and 70s theme. The bar and restaurant was decorated to embody that time period, but he soon decided to reorganize and create a more contemporary setting.

"I always wanted to open a nightclub or bar," said Welch. "I wanted to open a place where people can come eat good food without all the drama."

The restaurant and bar, Bills Place Café, opened four months ago on Ga. Highway 36 in Butts County. Welch, whose day job is serving as the owner and operator of assisted-living complexes in Perry, Macon and Warner Robins, takes on the role of bar and restaurant owner in the evening.

Bill’s Place is a full restaurant and bar, serving items including thick-cut ribeye and New York strip steaks, salmon and butterfly shrimp. The restaurant also serves fresh-patted burgers. One burger on the menu, referred as "Bill’s fully-dressed burger," is loaded with bacon, mushrooms, Swiss cheese, lettuce and tomato.

The restaurant’s specialty items are its homemade pies, made daily. Selections include fried apple, chocolate and butterscotch. The dessert is traditionally served with ice cream.

Welch stages several activities during the week for customers. The bar holds karaoke nights on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Welch launched all-day happy hour and free pool on Mondays.

To satisfy his desire for a 60s and 70s styled atmosphere, Welch is offering dance classes. The waitresses lead blues, rock and disco dancing lessons from noon to 2 p.m. on Saturdays. Lessons cost $5, but the proceeds are used to hold a party for the participants at the end of the month. Participants can dress in a style that reflects their preferred music genre.

"There just wasn’t enough clientele to sustain my original idea," said Welch. "The (dance) classes are off to a slow start, but it’s growing. There are young men and women out there, along with the older generation, who want to know how to dance in this style."

The bar and restaurant is currently closed Sundays, but may change that as the weather warms. Welch plans to hire acoustic guitar players to play during the week.

The business will be sponsoring the Classic Car and Hot Rod show on March 19. The event, with prizes for best in show and the people’s choice, will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Welch will offer free pool, drink specials and 35-cent chicken wings.

Bill’s Place Café will also play host to Keno night tonight, with employees from the state-run lottery handling the game. Prizes will be awarded to winners.