Robin Hudson, owner of a popular Lexington restaurant, died Thursday at 60.
His expertise in barbecue began as an avocation before becoming his career, family members said.
“It progressed from a hobby to full-time business,” said his step-mother, victims rights advocate Laura Hudson.
Hudson’s Smokehouse on U.S. 378 became an instant favorite that attracted customers across the Midlands after opening a decade ago.
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It quickly became “a stomping ground for politicians,” said Lexington Mayor Steve MacDougall, who formerly worked there.
The restaurant relied on recipes that Hudson developed from years of cookouts with family and friends.
Hudson promoted the restaurant with the slogan “taste the South in your mouth.”
He also supplied encouragement, food and donations to many civic organizations.
“He was known as much for his generosity as his food,” his step-mother said. “He was very much embedded in his community.”
A celebration of his life will take place at the restaurant at 5 p.m. Sunday. Funeral arrangements had not been completed late Thursday.