VALLEY LEE, Md. – Russell’s Corner has over one hundred years of history and countless stories sworn to secrecy to protect the innocent and the guilty of those involved.
On the 30th episode of The BayNet’s Podcast, “Get Real with Chris & Mark,” the hosts ‘Get Real’ with Roger Buckler from Russell’s Corner about the bar’s clientele, professional wrestling matches, and the story of when a drunk driver drove into the building.
Buckler started the episode with a brief overview of the bar’s history. The original storefront opened in 1903 under the name Bennetts Delight but has had countless owners throughout time.
“There was even a timeframe they crossed hands seven or eight times. I asked a couple of the older guys, what’s the deal with this? And they said, playing cards on a Friday night or whatever. If the down is lucky, throw the deed to the building up, and the next day we’d have a new owner,” Buckler recalled.
The business eventually turned into Hobbs Corner, and then in 1987, Buckler’s great-grandfather purchased the building and turned it into Betty Russell’s Bar.
“That’s been a staple in that location for forever, as long as anyone can remember. You go by there, and you always see people there. It’s like a local hometown favorite kind of thing,” exclaimed Chris.
“It took me a while to get that. Cause before it was, unless you knew somebody, you weren’t coming in,” Buckler replied, “If a stranger walked in,
the record stopped, and everybody turned around in their chairs and looked.”
Buckler explained that while their core regulars stay the same, live music and enticing weekly specials often bring fresh faces.
Russell’s Corner offers a full menu of bar food favorites ranging from pizza to mozzarella sticks and sandwiches.
On the podcast, Chris and Mark tried the Bloody Mary created from Bucker’s grandmother’s recipe, and the Spicy Colby Sandwich, a creation Buckler invented for a repeat customer.
Buckler mentioned that before he got into the bar business, he was involved in pro wrestling, which led him to hold wrestling matches at Russell’s Corner.
The establishment also holds pool, horseshoe, and shuffleboard leagues.
Buckler ended the podcast by revealing a story he had never told publicly. He mentioned that it is in the bartender’s code that what happens at the bar stays at the bar.
However, Buckler said the craziest story he could recall involved a drunk driver running a car into the liquor room.
After the bartender refused to serve a patron who came in visibly intoxicated, the patron got in his car to drive, thinking he was in reverse, in slammed through the building.
“And then backed out and ran over Mitch’s Hot Dog Cart, and then tried to scurry away and hit the ditch down the street, and at that point he was like, alright, I’m done,” Buckler elaborated.
Luckily, no one was hurt, and Buckler and his team restored the building from the incident.
“I’ve always joked about it. I’ll write a book, and the opening line is the names in all these stories have been changed to protect the innocent and the guilty,” Buckler said.
Visit Betty Russell’s Bar on Facebook to learn about $2 Tuesdays, March madness, and happy hour specials.
Watch the full episode for more stories from Buckler and to hear Chris and Mark’s food and drink review: https://youtu.be/N6FZYepr_Mc
Once a week, Century 21 New Millennium Realtors Chris Hill and Mark Frisco ‘Get Real’ with topics surrounding life in Southern Maryland while showcasing local business tastings and highlighting hidden gems in the area.
You can watch or listen to previous episodes at: www.thebaynet.com/podcasts
If you’ve got a great podcast idea or an awesome business you want to be mentioned, email us at email@example.com. We’d love to hear more about it!
If the car had hit Betty she would’ve totalled it.
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