The Grand Reopening of Hecky’s Barbecue, 1902 Green Bay Road, is scheduled for Friday, Nov. 6 at 11a.m.

Long known and recently named Best Suburban Barbecue by Better Magazine (again), the restaurant has been undergoing a face lift. “We had discussed some necessary changes before Hecky passed away, “ said his wife, author Cheryl Judice, “ it never seemed the right time. The slowdown caused by the pandemic enabled us to make those changes. We have been busy for the last two months working with several contractors here in Evanston, preparing to feed that hunger for really good barbecue,” Judice added.

Hecky’s loss is felt by many, family, customers, the youth whose future he hoped to share. Evanston Mayor Steve Hagerty echoed the thoughts of many. “Hecky would be proud of the new and improved “Hecky’s, not because it will generate more money, but because it will increase the investment into the youth he was so deeply committed to.”

Opened in 1982, Hecky’s became a favorite of those craving good barbecue and good times. Mr. Powell could often be found at the check-in counter, dispensing advice and good humor, along with barbecued ribs, hot links, chicken and peach cobbler.

He gave a first job to many Evanston young people where they developed skills in customer service, as well as toting up bills. He was also involved with providing guidance to Evanston youth and furthering their education.

The WE (Work Ethic) program he founded provides mentoring, scholarships and opportunities for Evanston teens work study and pairing with professionals in like fields.