Located a few minutes from downtown Fayetteville, Charlie’s Pub has been the most notorious bar in town since its founding in 1988. It was established by brothers Charlie and Jerry Sedlock to provide a fun space for the local community and whitewater enthusiasts who travel to Fayetteville from all over the world. In September of 2020, the bar was purchased by Ian Lutz, a former river guide and locally known musician/comedian. We sat down to chat with Ian about bringing new things to the bar and celebrating his first year in business.
HWV: Last time we talked to you, you had just purchased the pub. How is everything going?
IL: Things are going really well. It’s been a lot of work but a labor of love.
HWV: The place looks great.
IL: Thank you. I am pleased with how things are moving along. Taking over Charlie’s Pub was a good fit and our patrons are happy with what we’re doing here.
We built a small stage inside and have had several music acts, comedy shows and open mics as well as a bi-weekly pool tournament.
HWV: How so?
IL: It turns out I’m really good at cleaning which is your number one job as a bar owner. The place definitely needed a lot of scrubbing and upgrades when I acquired it. Charlie’s used to allow smoking inside which is no longer permitted. I have a background in landscape design that has helped in creating our outdoor space which includes a separate area with a back deck, extra outdoor seating, and room for food vendors. We built a small stage inside and have had several music acts, comedy shows and open mics as well as a bi-weekly pool tournament. We’ve done a few special events as well; I always enjoy an excuse to throw a good party.
HWV: We’ve heard some pretty good stories about Charlie’s Pub from “the good ol’ days”. What kinds of stories are you making there now?
IL: Haha, it’s true man Charlie’s back in its heyday was a whole experience. For a long time it stood alone as the late night place in Fayetteville so if you wanted to socialize and have a drink, you always ended up here. Now there are more options in town so Charlie’s Pub isn’t packed to the brim every night. That makes it more relaxed which we like. I have found a few old photos from the early days of the bar and it was just a nice hole-in-the-wall joint where folks came to kick their feet up and have a few beers. That’s the atmosphere I’m looking to recreate down here. No gimmicks. No gossip. Just a cool spot to come and hang out for an evening.
HWV: Now that the New River Gorge is a national park are you seeing an increase in business?
IL: Sure, we see quite a few travelers and tourists down here but then again Charlie’s has always been sniffed out by more adventurous people visiting the area. Despite its slogan “Fayetteville’s best kept secret” it’s not too hard to find. Our guests have been giving some great online reviews and we recently launched charliespubwv.com. All that has really helped get the word out. You can also find us on social media @charliespub1988.
HWV: And you are planning an event for your first year in business?
IL: Oh absolutely. Our party will be on Monday, September 20th. We will have Polecat Tacos serving up some great food and live music from 7p-1a. Gonna be a banger!
HWV: Last words?
IL: Big shout to Jenn and all my staff past, present and future! Love you guys!
On Monday, Sept. 20th, be sure to stop in Charlie’s Pub to celebrate their One Year Anniversary! This event features live music w/ Dan Freeman, Shawn Owen, and Andy Tuck who will play solo spots. There will also wood-fired tacos by Polecat food truck! The pub’s address is 190 S. Court Street. Cheers!
– HashtagWV #135. September 2021.
HashtagWV Art & Entertainment is a high-quality print and digital multimedia platform for all things West Virginia and the greater Appalachian region. The editorial focus is local music, unique shopping, the arts, events, theatre, and food and drinks. tiktok.com/@hashtagwv