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Darius Rucker, country music singer and frontman for Hootie and the Blowfish, poses with Margie Coakley, the owner of Coakley's Pub in Havre de Grace. Rucker visited the restaurant with his family for lunch on Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Darius Rucker, country music singer and frontman for Hootie and the Blowfish, poses with Margie Coakley, the owner of Coakley's Pub in Havre de Grace. Rucker visited the restaurant with his family for lunch on Wednesday, Dec. 4. (Courtesy of Coakley's Pub)

Hootie and the Blowfish frontman and country music singer Darius Rucker stopped by Coakley’s Pub in Havre de Grace with his family for lunch on Wednesday, enjoying an order of the restaurant’s sesame ginger wings.

The restaurant’s owner, Margie Coakley, posted a photo of Rucker and herself on Coakley’s Facebook page with the caption, “Darius Rucker says ‘wings approved’! Some days are good, some days are bad, but today...I’ll take it. It’s a good day to have a good day!”

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Darius Rucker says "wings approved"! Some days are good, some days are bad, but today...I'll take it. It's a good day to have a good day!

Posted by Coakley's Pub on Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Coakley, in a phone interview Thursday morning, said Rucker was dining with his daughter and other family.

She and other employees weren’t sure at first whether it was actually him.

“We were all like, ‘Wow, that looks like Darius Rucker,’ ... so I Google-imaged him,” Coakely said, noting she is a big fan of his music and saw Hootie and the Blowfish in concert at the Nissan Pavilion (now Jiffy Lube Live) in Virginia years ago.

As Rucker and his family were finishing lunch, Coakley approached their table, asked about their meal and asked “did anyone ever tell you that you look like Darius Rucker?"

He responded that he’s gotten that before, Coakley said, and as she started to walk away, one of the other people at the table remarked “he’s the one and only.”

Coakley said Rucker was very generous with his time, taking photos with employees around and in front of the restaurant, and with his wallet — he left a 60% tip for the table’s server.

Coakley said she relayed a story to Rucker that, when the restaurant first opened in 1997, it only had a jukebox for music and the Hootie single “Time” from their debut album “Cracked Rear View,” was quite popular.

“I swear we played it a thousand times on that jukebox,” Coakley said.

Rucker is best known as the lead vocalist and a guitarist for the rock band Hootie and the Blowfish, and the band’s hits such as “Hold My Hand,” “Only Wanna Be with You,” and “Let Her Cry.”

Rucker struck out on his own to be a solo country artist and, in 2008, his single “Don’t Think I Don’t Think About It,” made him the first black artist to reach No. 1 on the Hot Country Songs charts since 1983. He became the first black American to win the Country Music Association’s New Artist Award in 2009.

Hootie and the Blowfish reunited and released their first studio album in 14 years, Imperfect Circle, earlier this year. The reunion tour included a concert at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia this August.

Most recently, Rucker has been a “battle adviser” for country singer Blake Shelton’s team on the 17th season of reality show “The Voice" on NBC.

In its nearly 23 years in business, Coakley’s hasn’t had too many celebrities dine there — Coakley could recall former Olympic swimmer Danny Thomson and a few state politicians like Lt. Gov. Boyd Rutherford and Comptroller Peter Franchot.

Rucker, she said, “is by far most famous person we’ve ever had in here.”

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Coakley’s Pub is located at 406 St. John St. in downtown Havre de Grace.

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