Starting with a great-grandma in 1987 and continuing with a pair of granddaughters into 2018, the West End Lounge in Newcastle has been owned and operated by the same family for more than 30 years. As the family of Ruby and Ron Huckins grew, so did their business. What started out as a bar often featuring live music is now a full-service restaurant and coffee shop as well.
The Huckins bought the business in April 1987, and Ruby passed it on to their daughter, Rhonda Gordon, 10 years later. After Ron passed away, Huckins bought the business back from Gordon in 2005. Gordon stayed on as manager before again becoming sole owner in 2009. Then, in January 2017, Gordon carried on tradition and passed the business on to her daughter, Jennifer Hokanson.
“But Grandma is still the boss! She’ll always be the boss,” Hokanson said, smiling and nodding toward Ruby during the interview.