MEET: Greg Hunsinger, owner and operator of Huns’ West Side Café in Luzerne
Greg Hunsinger is the owner and operator of Huns’ West Side Café in Luzerne. He also owns Huns’ Café 99 in Plains. Hunsinger, 45, is a native of South Wilkes-Barre and a graduate Meyers High School and King’s College, where he earned a degree in Human Resources Management. He has owned Huns’ Café 99 for 15 years and has owned Huns’ West Side Café, the former Exit 6, for four years. He previously co-owned Big Dawgs in Kingston. He lives in the Parsons section of Wilkes-Barre.
Big Dawgs opened in 1994, so just last year you noted your 20th year in the bar business. What first made you want to get into it? I’m a people person. And with Big Dawgs, it was just a good deal at the right time, and I thought I’d be good at it.
Twenty years later, you now own two popular clubs on your own and seem to be loving it. What do you still like about it? I like the people. You’ve got to like people to be in this business. Most of the people are wonderful. That’s why you do it. And just being independent.
You made some nice changes to the old Exit 6. The place looks great. We renovated the whole place, wall to wall. The bar is the only thing that is the same.
What do you do in your free time? Sometimes you say, “You don’t own the business. The business owns you.” But I do have free time. In the summer I golf, and I take trips. I like to travel and just hang out and do different things with friends.
Are you a collector? Any hobbies? You know, I don’t really collect anything or have a hobby. Maybe I should get one – building ships in a bottle or something. Between the two businesses, and making sure everything is running right, and making sure everything is stocked up, and meeting with salesmen, or repairmen, or greeting deliveries – there’s always an issue to deal with – it takes up a lot of your day.
Music? I like Michael Jackson, Prince, Earth, Wind & Fire – any type of Motown stuff. That would be my favorite. But I go all over the board. I like old rock and roll, from The Who and The Doors to The Rolling Stones. And there’s rock and country artists today that I like. But my favorites are Michael Jackson and Prince.
Do you follow sports? I like the Detroit Lions in the NFL. In baseball, I’ll always be a Phillies fan.
Favorite color? Maroon/burgundy.
Favorite food? King crab legs.
Favorite item on your own menu? We have really good steak bites. We make them out of filet tips. They cut them up and sauté them with a little salt, pepper and garlic. They’re really good. And I like our chicken bites.
First car? A brown Dodge Monaco. I think it was a ’78. My uncle passed away, and my aunt wanted to give it to me. It was great, because it had four doors and was a big, huge car. In high school, it was perfect. You could throw everybody in there. It was like a party car. I have a lot of good memories in that car.
Favorite city? I was in Chicago last summer, and I thought it was really cool. And anytime I’m in Pittsburgh, it’s always a fun time.
Favorite vacation spot? Jupiter, Florida.
Any nicknames? “Huns.”
Favorite holiday? Fourth Of July.
All-time favorite movie? Anytime “Goodfellas” is on, I always watch it. And I always watch “Wedding Crashers.” I also like “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.”
Favorite TV show, past or present? I used to watch a lot of “M*A*S*H” and “Happy Days,” but more recently “The King of Queens.” That makes me laugh. It’s hilarious.
Favorite quote or catch phrase? I always tell people, “Variety is the spice of life.”
Defining personal moment? My mom passed away a few years ago, and after that, I decided “live your life” and always try to have fun. I used to think, when it came to vacations and things, “Maybe I shouldn’t do it,” or “Maybe I shouldn’t go.” Anymore, I just go and do it, because you never know might happen. You realize the clock is ticking, and this is not a dress rehearsal. This is life, and if you don’t do it, you might never get a chance to do it.