zillie's story

great wine and good food

Est. 2005

Zillie’s opened in 2005. Roy and David, the proprietors of a small seasonal home accessories and gift shop on Ocracoke decided to introduce some of their favorite specialty food items into their product mix and the items sold well. Ultimately that small food category grew into what is now Zillie’s. The introduction of craft beer and a large selection of wine completed the transformation. Today Zillie’s is pretty well recognized as one of the first “mix and match” craft beer bottle shops in the nation. The Back Road location was established in 2008.

zillies ocracoke wine salami

Miss Zillie

Good friend Larry Williams suggested that the “new” shop be named in honor of Barzilla O’Neal (October 30, 1859 – June 10, 1939) who had lived on Ocracoke. Barzilla was unmarried and affectionately known by Islanders as “Miss Zillie.” She lived with her sister on Ocracoke’s Back Road and helped raise several nieces and nephews.

A tradition of great wine and good food

Everyone thought Miss Zillie was a great cook and she was particularly well known for her tasty homemade yeast rolls. When Miss Zillie’s Odoriferous Rolls were praised, she would proudly cite her motto: “Don’t let your pantry become empty or bare – Otherwise the devil will make his home there!”

Interestingly enough, one of Miss Zillie’s nephews, Oscar Jackson, lived in a small cottage behind Zillie’s present location and would often be seen walking the “Back Road” sporting his beloved sailor’s cap. It is rumored that he and his buddies Clee, Wilbur, Tom Frank’s Joe, and Bill produced some of the very finest “Meal Wine” that Ocracoke Island has ever had to offer.

Today, Miss Zillie’s tradition of great wine and good food is still honored – with Zillie’s offering excellent selections here on Ocracoke Island since 2005.

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