Shotgun Willies BBQ

Bill Laviolette
Bill Laviolette
Nobody has ever referred to Bill as “Shotgun Willie.” Ever. But that doesn’t matter because ‘cause what’s in a name anyway, right? If you are curious, the “Shotgun Willie” moniker pays homage to his favorite song by Texas icon Willie Nelson (and if you had to choose just one Willie song to name your BBQ place after, Shotgun Willie’s sounds a whole lot better than, “Gotta Get Drunk BBQ,” which was his second choice). Bill began ruining briskets and other beef, pork and poultry products in various backyards around the greater Houston area beginning in the early 90’s. After many long nights - and some blazingly hot afternoons, he finally started figuring out how to cook with fire - much to the comfort of friends and family alike who were subjected to his “experimentations.” In 2005, the seeds were planted for his future as during a contentious exit interview at a job he held in Houston, he was asked, “If you could do anything in the world what would you do?” Bill responded, “I’d run a BBQ stand by the side of the road.” Fast forward to 2013, five years after relocating to Nashville when he opened… a bakery that specialized in the Tex-Czech treat, kolaches. Looking for ways to expand the menu (and bring a little more of his Texas roots to Nashville) he began smoking brisket for kolaches. The success and feedback he received made him realize that maybe, just maybe, having that BBQ stand by the side of the road wasn’t just a crazy dream after all! Life changes led him to leaving the bakery days behind and embarking on the BBQ dream in 2016, when the Shotgun Willie’s BBQ food trailer started popping up around Nashville. In 2017, the Nashville Scene named his brisket “Best in Nashville.” In 2019, he found a nice little spot in his Inglewood neighborhood to bring his brick-and-mortar BBQ dog and pony show to life. Then, on May 16, 2020 - after 12 months of enduring building issues and construction delays, dodging a catastrophic tornado he decided it was high time to open a restaurant… in the midst of a global pandemic and a meat shortage! But since that day, his Inglewood and East Nashville neighbors along with folks from all around the Music City and beyond, have turned his dream into a reality!