In a town that is usually asleep during the late-night hours, the sounds of rock and country music disrupt the silence.
Walking into Hooligans bar in Ashland is like walking into a piece of the town itself. Amidst the neon lights, smoky air and television sets, Ashland residents flock to this 6-month-old bar, speaking about Hooligans as if it has been in operation their entire lives.
“Walking into this place is like walking into a golf course,” longtime customer Mike Sherrick says. “Doesn’t matter who you are, everybody is the same. Doesn’t matter what you look like; you can be who you are.”
Around 10:30 on a recent karaoke night, the emcees play the beginning beats to the Cha Cha Dance. Instantaneously, everyone, including bartender and owner Debbie Sapp, flocks to the dance floor. Lining up in rows of three, the dancers hop and twist according to the song’s instructions. Some dancers know the moves as if it’s second nature, while others are a few beats off, turning left when the instructions say “turn right.” Regardless, at the song’s end, everyone goes back to mingling and laughing, fulfilling another Hooligans tradition.