In 1947 Bill Davis, a retired Naval Lt. Commander purchased a surplus WWII Quonset hut from the Navy. The hut was disassembled and transported to this site where it was reassembled and opened as Bill Davis’s Hut, a popular watering hole for the lumber and mining workforce. In 1950 Wilma Kenney leased the Hut from Bill Davis and it was renamed Wilma’s Hut. Wilma sold sandwiches, hot lunches, beer and soft drinks to the logging truck drivers as they roared up and down Hwy. 49. She subsequently purchased the property and leased the hut to a local couple
In 1963 Bob and Peggy Tucker purchased The Hut and renamed it Tuck’s Hut. With a truck load of lumber from a local mill they enlarged the bar and added a covered structure on the east side where they built a grill pit and served hamburgers through the window to the bar patrons. A Gold Miner’s special (burger and a beer) cost 60 cents. In 1969 the Tuckers leased the property to a local tavern owner, Frank Williams who was forced to relocate the Willo Bar he then owned from East Main Street in Grass Valley to make room for the freeway. He partnered with Veda Folden who with the help of her husband and brothers converted the covered structure into the main dining room and the Willo Steakhouse was born. The banquet room was added in 1973.
In 1976 Ken and Jeannie Hiebert bought and combined the bar and restaurant operations as well as purchased the property (still owned by Peggy Tucker). They operated it for 26 years before selling it to the current owners, Mike Byrne and Nancy Wilson. Your current hosts are committed to preserving the California roadhouse heritage of The Willo featuring its award winning signature choice New York Steaks carefully aged and cut daily from Midwestern beef striploin. The Willo has served over 1,000,000 choice New York Steaks. It’s no wonder our grill cooks know how to cook a great steak. Many folks though the decades have asked why the Willo has no “w” on the end (Willow)??? The Willo is a combination of old Frank Williams last name and his wife’s first name Lola. Whether you order our signature steak dinner or one of our other fine entrees you can be assured everything is prepared here on site from scratch with the finest ingredients. Thank you for joining us and allowing us to serve your dining pleasure, your banquet or other special event needs.
Thanks for your patronage,
Mike & Nancy