Billy Burger (Wilbur, Washington)

Billy Burger Neon
Photo by Ray Schauweker

Serving up burgers, fries, and hotdogs since 1955, Billy Burger is the place to eat if you happen to be in Lincoln County, Washington. Built by Willis (Bill) Orson Bell and his wife Alice in 1955 on the lot next to their motel, Billy Burger has over the years since opening, become as much a destination for their hospitality and unique neon sign as they have for their burgers (though the burgers are supposed to be very good). Billy Burger was named after the Bell’s son, and the Bell family owned and operated the restaurant for many years before deciding to sell their restaurant and move on to other interests. Since changing hands, Billy Burger has always been privately owned and has continually provided for the small city of Wilbur.

The love affair with the drive-in diner, and with the hamburger is part of what makes Billy Burger an important part of American history. Providing generations of families with a place to work as well as a place to eat with friends, the small restaurant could not have survived untouched, as it has, without the community in which it resides. It seems to invoke small town values that are often missed in other cities, and the little roadside attraction is like stepping back in time.

Billy Burger Facts

  • Billy Burgers is located at 804 Se Main Street Wilbur, WA 99185.
  • Billy Burger Drive in is a privately held company in Wilbur, Washington and only has the one location.
  • Wilbur is a small, rural town of less than a thousand people surrounded by wheat farms and fields.
  • The neon sign was designed by Bill Bell and was the first of its kind in Wilbur.
  • Billy Burger (and the Billy Burger sign) are a quick detour if you happen to be traveling through Washington state via Hwy2.