MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A neighborhood bar for more than six decades, Buck’s was destroyed by fire Monday afternoon.
Buck’s had been in the Bucklew family since the 1950s, operating at The Hogback Turn on Brockway Avenue.
Dixie Bucklew, the owner’s sister, turned emotional while watching smoke pour from under the roof.
She recalled arriving to open Monday afternoon, then turning on the deep fryers in the kitchen as usual before the fire started.
“Went up front to put the sign up. Wasn’t out there no more than 4 or 5 minutes. I came back, the alarm was off. Go back to the kitchen. The flames were coming out of the kitchen,” she said. “I get to the kitchen door and the ceiling’s falling out. It just started rushing—the fire and smoke.”
Every Morgantown fireman available was called to battle the blaze, according to the city fire chief.
However, owner Bob Bucklew Jr. expected nothing would be salvaged.
“I just had it appraised at over $1 million. I cut my insurance in half because I paid it off. So, there went my retirement,” the businessmen said.
Bucklew said the remaining part of the structure likely must be torn down.
In the 1980s, Bucklew purchased the business from his father.
“My daughter and I—when she was 18 until she was in her 20s—her and I operated it together and did a great business. It’s a legacy. That’s why I named the upstairs Legacy Lounge. It was a legacy for my father,” he said.
The two-story block building had undergone numerous changes and renovations over the years.
“The smoking addition I put on there is getting its use now,” the owner said. “I just spent $80,000 putting that smoking floor on it upstairs and downstairs. It didn’t bring in the business I thought it was going to have, but it’s getting its business now.”