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GOOD EATS: R.T. Champs works to keep customers happy

Dec. 31, 2009 @ 08:27 AM

HUNTINGTON -- A small bar in West Huntington, R.T. Champs, takes its name partially as a nod to the Ragtime Lounge, a well-known area pub that burned down many years ago.

The name "Champs" comes from the fact that its owner, Bud Waugh, was a four-time champion Golden Gloves Boxer. The bar/restaurant first opened in 2000.

While having a wide selection of beer, wine and mixed drinks, the bar is perhaps best known for its rib night.

"We have a rib night every Wednesday evening," Waugh said. "We serve a full rack for $20 and a half rack for $13. That includes potato salad, baked beans and cornbread. In the summer months we serve them on the patio out back, but it's too cold now. We're currently serving them indoors for the winter months."

Waugh says the place also offers home cooking.

"On Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays we have comfort food such as cornbread and beans, baked steak, baked chicken and rolls," he said. "We also serve an excellent Reuben, and our specialty is a steak sandwich with cheese, sauteed onions and peppers. It goes for $4.75.

"We basically started serving what people asked for. People came in asking for sandwiches, and we started fixing them. Then people started asking for plate lunches, and we started serving those. We also try to keep in stock whatever types of beer or wine our customers regularly ask for."

While the owner is a retired boxer, a meal at R.T. Champs won't hit you hard in the wallet. Sandwiches are mostly in the $4.75-$5 range, while cups of soup or chili sell for $3. The daily lunch plates are sold for $5.50.

"We have some of our plate specials written on the side of the building, but it's changed a bit," said Jo Ann Ross, a cook at the restaurant. "We no longer have spaghetti on Wednesdays, so our menu is changing a little bit. We still offer pinto beans and cornbread with fried potatoes on Mondays when we also offer salmon cakes and chicken livers. On Tuesdays we have baked steak, green beans, mashed potatoes and gravy."

Other items throughout the week include chicken enchiladas and homemade chili.

R.T. Champs, located at 1605 Madison Ave., has no set hours. It opens at 11 a.m. Monday through Saturday and closes whenever Waugh chooses. It opens at 1 p.m. on Sundays.

Cash is the only form of payment accepted at this time. There is an ATM inside.

For information on catering options as well as daily specials, customers can call 304-429-6636.

If you go: R.T. Champs

Type of food: Bar with home cooked food, ribs each Wednesday

Address: 1605 Madison Ave., Huntington, WV, 25704

Phone number: 304-429-6636

Payments accepted: Cash only, ATM inside

Hours: Opens at 11 a.m. Monday-Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday. Closing times vary.

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