Editor’s Note: This is the 436th in a series of articles recalling vanished Huntington scenes.
For more than 30 years, until his death in 1973, Hatfield Carrington “Zip” Brubeck owned and operated a busy roadside eatery and tavern on old U.S. 52 about three miles north of Wayne. Its official name was the Ravencliff Lakeside Restaurant but nobody called it that. Instead the long-time hangout for Marshall students and other young people was almost universally known as Zip’s.
Born in Beckley in 1909, Brubeck graduated from Marshall in 1931 and briefly attended the West Virginia University College of Law.
He first entered politics in 1942 as an unsuccessful candidate for the West Virginia House of Delegates from Wayne County. From 1950 to 1954, he was chairman of the Wayne County Republican Party.
In 1956, he announced his candidacy for the West Virginia State Senate, successfully ousting long-time incumbent Charles H. “Jackie” McKown.
Brubeck took his seat at the start of the 1957 Senate session, but his time at the State Capitol proved brief. He resigned that same year after the Internal Revenue Service attached his Senate salary for non-payment of $96,000 in income taxes on his restaurant earnings. (Ultimately, he settled with the IRS for $34,000.)
He re-entered politics in 1972 when he announced he would seek the Republican nomination for Congressman from West Virginia’s 4th District. He was one of three candidates seeking the GOP nomination and, when the votes were counted, he ran third in the race.
A real estate broker in addition to being a restaurateur, Brubeck was a Mason, a Shriner and Elk. He died in 1973. His former restaurant burned to the ground in 1976.
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