This time around Bill Henderson is in the driver's seat
as he gears up a new hot rod of a bar-and-grill in south Rochester.
Henderson, who has managed the Mayo Civic Center concessions
for Canadian Honker owner Joe Powers
for the past seven years, is cooking up a place of his own called Fat
It's being put together in a commercial building across from the Wehrenberg
Galaxy Theater in the Shoppes on Maine
development along U.S. 63 South. "This something I've always wanted to do," said Henderson, who is
retired from Mayo Clinic and has worked with Powers
since he opened the Honker in 1985.
With a hot-rod garage theme, the 3,500-square-foot Fat Willy's is
expected to take off from the starting line in September.
Look for the menu to feature hamburgers, fries and sandwiches.
"Basically we'll be serving bar food, but we'll also do some unique
stuff like shrimp boil specials and broasted chicken," he said. "We just
want to make it a fun place where people can sit down, have a beer,
good food and shoot the breeze."
Inside it will seat about 125 to 130 people and another 65 to 70 on a
large patio that has a fire pit and outdoor bar.
"With that pond and waterfall out there, it is just a heck of a nice
atmosphere," Henderson said.
Why the name?
"Everybody has always called me Willy," he said with a chuckle. "
well, I'm not the slimmest guy in the world."
Fat Willy's is also an homage to the classic 1941 Willys Coupe, known
for its wide rear end.
Henderson estimates that he'll have about 15 on staff.