Sandy Nickes, VFW Post 10376 Auxiliary treasurer, enjoys a burger and fries from the post's canteen at 1001 Veterans Ave. in Marble Falls. Having a short-order menu of chicken strips, BLTs, and more has allowed the canteen to reopen under the state’s COVID-19 restrictions. Staff photo by Suzanne Freeman
The Marble Falls VFW canteen has reopened and is planning its first big event, while the Burnet VFW canteen may soon follow. Both posts are open for a variety of services and require face coverings for entry.
Burnet VFW Post 6974 at 1402 W. Buchanan Drive has been open for bingo, but its bar has been closed. Marble Falls Post 10376 at 1001 Veterans Ave. reopened for bingo and its canteen as of 4 p.m. Oct. 1. Both posts were closed in March when Gov. Greg Abbott locked down the state to help stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. Each reopened for a short time in June but were closed again when the governor shut down bars statewide for a second time after COVID-19 numbers spiked. Bars that don’t serve food are still closed.
“We have a kitchen and a food permit, so we were allowed to reopen,” Marble Falls post Commander Lloyd Crippen said. “We had to rearrange our kitchen, add to it, and change some things to make it a restaurant. We’ve set up a short-order menu.”
Menu items include chicken strips, burgers, BLTs, pizza, corn dogs, nachos, chef salad, and fries.
Hours at the post have been reduced to 4-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-10 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
“We should get back to more than normal when the crowd picks up,” Crippen said. “They have been slow to come back. We are nowhere near our capacity. We can operate at 75 percent right now.”
The doors open at 1 p.m. Sunday for bingo, which begins at 2 p.m. On Wednesday, doors open at 5 p.m. with a 6 p.m. game time. Food is available during bingo.
Activities get back in full swing on Saturday, Oct. 17, when the Marble Falls post holds chili, beans, and cobbler cook-offs along with a car show and shine. A “show and shine” means no ribbons or prizes, unlike other car shows. Show cars come for bragging rights, Crippen said.
Cash prizes and plaques will be awarded to winners in the chili, beans, and cobbler competitions.
Wake Eastman provides live entertainment, and homemade chili and cornbread will be available for purchase from 11:30 a.m. until sold out. Cost is $6 for adults and $4 for children.
For more information, call the post at 830-693-2261.
BURNET VFW POST 6974
Without its canteen, the Burnet post is having trouble paying its bills, post Commander Jerry Holt said.
“We are struggling,” he said. “When we opened back up in June, we had to renew our liquor license and it cost a lot of money. Then, it closed and we would have had to renew again to reopen and we don’t have the money for the license. We decided to just wait.”
The post is still open to help with veterans’ services, he stressed.
“Anybody that wants to come and needs help, we are here to help,” he said. “We are open every Friday, and we served dinner to our vets every Friday.”
The monthly barbecue continues as well. The post used to charge for barbecue plates, but since the pandemic, they have been giving it away. They cook and serve 120 pounds of barbecue at each meal, usually about 130 plates. All the food is donated, Holt said. Barbecue is served the last Sunday of the month from 11 a.m. until gone, which is usually about 1 p.m.
Bingo games continue on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sales start at 5:15 p.m. with early bird games at 6 p.m. and regular bingo at 7 p.m.
Once the bar reopens, Holt said they will look at resuming Friday night dances. They are scouting now for a DJ or bands to provide music.
Veterans’ Day ceremonies will be held in conjunction with the Burnet Municipal Airport event this year.
“The airport is bigger, so we are going to hook up with them and do Veterans’ Day over there,” Holt said.
Ceremonies will begin at noon Saturday, Nov. 7. Afterward, VFW members will return to the post for flag retirement ceremonies.
For more information or to make arrangements for donations of food or money, call the post at 512-588-6070.