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BillyNeck Food Station is targeting a March opening in Brewery District Flats.
SBJ file photo
BillyNeck Food Station is targeting a March opening in Brewery District Flats.

Food truck gets new life downtown

Posted online

A Battlefield food truck that shuttered late last year is reopening in downtown Springfield.

BillyNeck Food Station owner Mitch Cox said he’s targeting a March 7 opening at Brewery District Flats in space vacated last year by hot dog venture Frank ‘n’ Steins LLC. That would time with the date the food truck that specializes in sandwiches opened in 2016, he said.

“The food truck closed in November to, I guess, stop the bleeding,” Cox said. “Battlefield was self-supportive, but in February we had our catering vehicle taken out in a hit and run.”

Cox said the catering business represented another $50,000 to $70,000 in revenue for BillyNeck that was knocked out by the vehicle’s destruction.

“That was ‘finito’ on the business. It was dead,” he said.

Cox said a lawsuit filed over the incident is ongoing. After the food truck’s closure in November 2019, he sought investors for BillyNeck and found the downtown space at 535 W. Walnut St.

“In the last two months, the feedback has been so tremendous,” Cox said, noting he and his wife are self-financing the downtown restaurant.

Catering is planned to return in around six months, Cox said, noting he wants to first focus on the restaurant. He said BillyNeck previously catered to businesses in Springfield.

Cox said BillyNeck signed a three-year lease for undisclosed terms to occupy 1,875 square feet in Brewery District Flats, a 29,000-square-foot mixed-use development that mostly comprises apartments but also has 4,000 square feet of retail and office space on the ground floor. A Classic Rock Coffee franchise is slated to open next door to the BillyNeck space.

BillyNeck serves hoagies, melts, pan sliders and Billydilas, a play on quesadillas, Cox said, noting the menu includes 30 flavor combinations. With the brick-and-mortar space, he’s adding soup, pasta and rice offerings.

Cox also identified the origins of the BillyNeck name.

“It originated from hillbilly and redneck,” he said. “I didn’t know which one I was.”

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Dave Puckett

We were regulars at the food truck in Battlefield. The food was so good that, when family would visit from out of town, that's what they'd request for their first meal. I'm excited to see that they're re-opening!

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