Order Up at Bill’s Toasty Shop
Ask any of the locals in Taylorville where to get a great hamburger, and they’ll tell you to visit Bill’s Toasty Shop, a fixture in the community for generations. The tiny historic eatery opened in 1932 and seats only 14 people, but it has become widely known for its freshly cooked hamburgers, fried cheese balls and hand-dipped milkshakes.
“My favorite is the blackberry milkshake, but we make lots of different flavors – cheesecake, butterscotch, mint chocolate chip, peach, lemon, blueberry, caramel, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry,” says Candy Scallions, owner of Bill’s Toasty Shop. “People love our hamburgers, too. We are just an old-time diner where people like to chit-chat and tell stories about how their parents used to bring them here when they were kids.”
Because of its small size, 80 to 90 percent of the diner’s business comes from to-go orders. Those who prefer to eat in can sit at one of the old-fashioned stools along the counter and watch their meal being cooked in front of them.
“We draw people in the mornings for coffee and breakfast, too,” Scallions says. “The Works Omelette is very popular. It has ham, bacon, sausage, tomato, onions, cheese and hash browns in it, and it’s smothered with our cheese sauce or sausage gravy.”
If You Go...
Location: 111 N. Main St. in Taylorville
Hours: Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week
Phone: (217) 824-4022
Don’t expect to find any diet foods on the menu at Bill’s. If there was ever a place to splurge on calories, you’ve found it. Besides burgers and shakes, favorite menu items include chili, barbecued pork, fried mushrooms and cauliflower, and the legendary Horse Shoe – an open-faced sandwich with your choice of meat on Texas toast smothered in French fries and cheese sauce.
Scallions’ parents, Calvin and Patty Scallions, owned the diner for more than 30 years before she became owner in 2013.
“Back in the day when my mom and dad owned Bill’s, there was a country opry here in Taylorville, and they would get singers like Charley Pride and Boxcar Willie, who would come in to eat after their concerts,” Scallions says. “I love this place because of the people and the interesting stories they tell. We have lots of customers who live far away, but they are always faithful to come back when they are in Taylorville. It’s part of their history.”