HUNTINGTON — San Juan has the Pina Colada, New Orleans has The Hurricane, and Huntington has the Southern Belle — a mix of Red Bull, Peach Schnapps and Canadian Club Classic created by The Union Pub & Grill owner Herb Stanley. Last year during homecoming weekend, the pub sold more than 1,800 Southern Belles.
The bar that currently sits on 4th Avenue started as The Union in 1991, but its roots date back to another bar called The Varsity, which opened in 1964. Stanley owned The Varsity from 1983 until 1990 before rebranding as The Union’ a year later. In 2010, it moved to its current location next to Purple Earth Comics.
At the end of 2019, The Union started a new partnership with Southside Sliders owner Jason Webb. The pub now features the full menu of Southside Sliders, including their OG burger, The Lucille (pulled pork), and The Ritter Park 4-Cheese Grilled Cheese.
“I’ve always leased the kitchen out,” Stanley said. “After the last person who leased it left, I took over the kitchen for awhile. Then Jason, who owns both Southside Sliders and G.D. Ritzy’s, contacted me and told me he was interested. We met a couple of times and came to an agreement. It’s a lot of work to run both the bar and the kitchen, so I think it’s a win/win situation. They have a lamb burger that is unbelievable.”
The Union kept two things from its old menu: cheese fries and wings.
“We are famous for our cheese fries,” Stanley said. “Our wings come with several sauces, including hot, BBQ and garlic parmesan. We have a housemade sauce we call Dude, which is like a barbecue with a little bit of a bite at the end. We make that with Captain Morgan’s rum. It’s a little different, but it’s really good.”
Customers can also enjoy a side of tots. There’s also a deep fried cheesecake dessert chimichanga.
“We have premium and super premium bourbons. One of my favorites is Blanton’s, which can sometimes be a little hard to find. It’s made by Buffalo Trace. Woodford Reserve is another I recommend,” Stanley said. “We have 20 different taps of beer. We usually have three or four beers from Greenbrier Valley Brewing. I try to stick with them because they’re from here in the state. We also keep three or four beers from Louisville from the Good Wood Brewing Company in Louisville.”
The Union Pub & Grill is located at 1125 4th Ave., in Huntington. Bar hours are from 4 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Monday through Friday, 3 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Saturday and closed Sunday. The restaurant is open from 5 p.m. to midnight Monday and Wednesday through Saturday. Closed Sundays and Tuesday. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For more information, call 304-654-0917 or follow them on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/theunionpubandgrill/.