ROCKINGHAM – With all the new eateries opening up in Richmond County, there is one that has been in business for many years.
Brothers Ray and Rex Hudson first opened Hudson Brothers’ Deli on Sept. 26, 1980 which is still operating under original owner Rex Hudson, as Ray has since passed away.
Rex Hudson was working in Thomasville, N.C., as a supervisor at Rex Plastics when the facility closed down. He then relocated to Sanford, N.C. One day Rex said his brother Ray called and mentioned an opportunity to purchase equipment from Village Green, a bar that recently closed in Rockingham.
After discussing the situation, they decided to purchase the equipment and open a deli. They began by renting and renovating the building that is currently beside Hudson Brothers. They rented from McKenzie and Associates for seven years, and during that time decided to purchase the Watson Building which was directly next door.
The Watson Building was built in 1924 and served as the Watson Funeral Parlor. At some point in time, Woods 5 and 10 Cent Store operated out of several buildings in the area, one which was the toy department where Hudson Brothers is currently located.
“Before it was Woods 5 and 10 Cent Store, which was owned by Tom Woods, Sr., it was called The Hub Limited,” Hudson said. “This was a tailor-made clothing store in which the Levines owned.”
They also operated a “Bargain Basement”, which was located in the basement of Hudson Brothers. When the business expanded, the Levines relocated their store to Matthews, N.C. and opened the very first Family Dollar Store, as well as the first Pic n Pay shoe store. The Levines are also sponsors of The Levine Children’s Hospital in Charlotte, N.C.
Afterwards, Quick Copy operated out of the building, and in 1985 the Hudson brothers purchased the building. They began renovations which were designed by Fred Morris. They installed sliding doors which connected the two buildings together until the renovations were finalized in the summer of 1987. After renovations, they permanently closed the rented building and have been operating out of their current location since.
“I guess we have been handed down the good luck from the Levines,” Hudson said about the business’ longevity.
Robin Roberts, Hudson Brothers’ general manager, moved from Texas to Rockingham in 1989. Shortly thereafter, she began working at Hudson Brother’s Deli.
“Coming from Texas, which is one of the live music capitals of the world, I wanted to bring live music to Rockingham,” Roberts said. “We want people to come out and enjoy the music as well as hang out with friends.”
Hudson Brothers also offers a kid’s karaoke and open mic during the summer each Wednesday night.
“Everyone has welcomed me with opened arms, and I wanted to give back to the community,” Roberts stated.
Roberts also thanked Hudson for giving her the opportunity to manage the Deli and for making and keeping Hudson Brothers’ Deli an on-going success. Roberts mentioned how much she appreciated the loyalty of all the dedicated workers, as well as managers Diane Whitfield and Missy Cole, who have been employed there for over 20 years.
“I want to especially thank the community for their continued support in helping make Hudson Brothers a success,” Roberts added.
Hudson Brothers periodically offers art classes instructed by local artist Daniel Webb, and on Thursday nights at 7 p.m. “Pints & Poses”, a yoga class, is offered.
Regular hours of operation are Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday’s (karaoke and open mic night) and Friday’s (live band night) hours are 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page “Hudson Brothers’ Deli.”