October 14, 2011

Friday Flashback: Billys Tap Room

billy's tap room

Yesterday’s post mentioned something we did on vacation that I’d been dreaming of doing since childhood. While visiting Ormond Beach as a kid, we had a few choice dining spots, but they were mostly on the budget-friendly side. One year my parents and grandparents went to dinner (grown-ups only) at a place called Billy’s Tap Room and after that I’ve always wanted to eat there.


This lead glass cabinet near the door contains personalized nameplates for regulars who might want to call ahead and reserve a table.


The restaurant started out as The Tea Room in 1922. Billy MacDonald was the lounge manager at the Astor and Plaza Hotels in New York City and was invited by the owners of the beautiful Ormond Beach Hotel to move to Florida and manage the restaurant for them. After a few years, Billy bought a building on Granada Boulevard and moved The Tea Room, changing the name to Billy’s Tap Room & Grill.


In the early years, Billy’s sold fruits, jellies, newspapers, sandwiches and gifts. It evolved into a bar and full-service restaurant, where, in 1937, you could get draft beer for a nickel. Over the years the restaurant went through several owners, even closing for a time but it’s now reopened and restored to its original glory.


We took my mom there for her birthday dinner and it was quite the experience. I don’t think there are many places like Billy’s left…where going out to dinner still feels like a treat and not just something you do to get out of cooking. If you’re ever in Ormond Beach, definitely give it a try.