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Wild Bill Hickory BBQ building restaurant from scratch

Bill Richer, who was planning to renovate a Clarence diner into the Wild Bill Hickory barbecue restaurant, has demolished the building instead, and will start from scratch.

The structure at 9105 Sheridan Drive, which was last Emily's, was "a disaster inside, and wouldn’t fit our needs, with limited seating," said Richer. "We just want to do new, and do it right."

Demolition took place last month. Richer and partner Bernie Kolber are working with their architect to fine-tune their plans for the new place.

"It's going to be a rustic pole barn type of place, all post-and-beam interior, like the places I love down south," Richer said. "It's going to be a barn, basically."

Inside, it'll seat about 90, cafeteria style, at picnic tables and community tables. A bar will seat about 10.

Richer said he'd like to have bands play there, but won’t be open late. "This is really just going to be a down-home joint, nothing fancy."

In the meantime, the barbecue sandwiches that started it all are still available at Richer's roadside stand, 9840 County Road, Clarence. "I'm hoping this will be my last year out here at this location," he said.

If all goes well, he said, the new place should be open in April 2018.

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