WARSAW — The American Legion started its centennial year in August 2018. Post 49 of Warsaw is not far behind. Next year the post will celebrate both the national organization’s and its own 100th birthday.
Post 49 was established in 1919 and has made its home since 1950 in the sprawling two-story brick building on the northwest corner of Buffalo and Fort Wayne streets. Boasting more than 1,000 members, the post is open Monday through Saturday and opens its doors for bingo the first Sunday of each month.
“We have a little over 500 Legion members, 425 or so in the women’s auxiliary and 200 in the Sons of the American Legion,” said Mike Davis, the post’s adjutant.
Davis addressed a persistent misconception about the Warsaw post. “People think you have to be a member to walk in the door,” he said.
But the public is invited to all meals served Monday through Saturday from the post’s busy kitchen. The all-day breakfast starts at 6:30 a.m. and is served until the kitchen closes, usually around 8 p.m.
Lunch is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and dinner, which often features specials, runs from 5 to 7 p.m. “On Friday night our special is always $5,” said Davis, who also serves as one of the cooks. “We have had spaghetti, beef and noodles, chicken and noodles, Salisbury steak and lasagna.”
The last two Saturdays of each month feature more extravagant specials, such as prime rib ($18), New York strip steak ($14), barbecue ribs ($12 for half, $18 for a full order) and peel-and-eat shrimp, all served with a baked potato, garlic bread and a full salad bar. Other Saturdays diners can order off the menu or enjoy the $8 special of the week.
The public is also welcome to participate in bingo Mondays and Fridays at 6:15 p.m. and at noon the first Sunday of the month. “We open the first Sunday at 9:30 until bingo is over, between 4 and 5 p.m.,” said Davis. “The kitchen is open those Sundays with a luncheon special.”
Davis issued one caveat for patrons. “To buy alcohol you have to be a member or be signed in on the guest list by a member and the member still has to actually purchase the alcohol.”
Another weekly public event is the All-American raffle, which takes place Saturday nights. “You have to purchase your tickets by 5:45 p.m. Saturday, but you can come in and purchase them any day of the week,” Davis said. “You have to be here to win all the jackpot, but you still get half if you are not present.” The highest jackpot awarded at the post was $18,645.
The post conducts targeted fundraisers. “If a needy veteran’s family contacts us we try to do a fundraiser and the money goes directly to them,” said Davis. “We periodically do fundraising and take donations to send CARE packages overseas.”
The post employs three full-time workers and a part-time cook. “We are currently taking applications for a bartender,” said Davis. “You don’t have to be a member to work here.”
Warsaw American Legion Post 49 is located at 301 N. Buffalo St. Regular hours are 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
For more information or to request an employment application, call (574) 267-5549.