Fans of the old Mac's Famous Barbecue in Evansville may think they've died and gone to Heaven when a new business, Pork Chop Willie's, opens in early February at 4601 Washington Ave.
Bill Skelton, Willie's founder and owner, formerly worked for and owned Mac's.
He has the recipes for Mac's sweet barbecue sauce and its potato salad, baked beans and chef's salad.
Now he wants to introduce the dishes and sauce at his Pork Chop Willie's, named after Willie, a knickname some friends have given Skelton over the years.
Skelton said the Mac's sauce will be used on pork chops, pork loin and smoked chicken breasts.
Recently, the sauce has been bottled and is available at Kitchen Affairs.
He said he plans to eventually offer the bottled version at Willie's for take out.
Skelton also wants to offer some popular Mac's pies including chocolate, banana, coconut and lemon varieties.
The Willie's existing site is across Washington Avenue from Schnucks Food & Drugs, just west of South Green River Road.
The restaurant location will seat 24 for sit-down dining. Takeout, delivery and catering services will also be available.
The past 10 years Skelton has worked in sales at Sunset Memorial Park Cemetery and Mausoleum.
Earlier he was with Mac's for more than 25 years, including as owner from 1967 to 1980.
"I missed the restaurant business and now I want to get back in it," said Skelton. Willie's, planned as a seven-day operation, will become his full-time job, he said.
Skelton plans to have a staff of eight, including some former Mac's employees.