SOMERSET COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ)— After years of fundraising, the Windber American Legion finally received enough funding for a kitchen upgrade.

The upgrade is now finished and the legion is open to the public again, hoping to produce better quality products.

The Legion started fundraising for the upgrade before the pandemic. They saved money from multiple events, including their drag queen bingos and golf outings. The legion also received a Covid-19 grant.

The completed project ended up costing just under $190,000. Commander of the Legion, Joy Hamryszak, described the kitchen before its restoration.

“It was very broken up, so we had fryers in one area. We had stoves and ovens in a different area,” Hamryszak said. “There were a couple of walls back there that are gone to make it one big easier to operate space.”

The upgrade includes brand new walk-in coolers, fryers, a pizza and convection oven, and a flat top. The Legion offers multiple specials throughout the weekends, including shrimp and fried fish.

Manager of the Legion Mark Callihan said it was challenging to handle a busy day with their setup.

“We do Friday fish and shrimp dinners, and we did struggle. We had very good business, but we struggled to keep up,” Callihan said. “We’ve had two since we opened the kitchen, and they’ve run a lot better.”

The Legion wants to emphasize that the food menu is open to all in the community. You do not have to be a member to order food. In addition, their building is wheelchair accessible.

Their menu features over 50 items and all of its homemade.

“It’ll give us an opportunity to offer more food and more selection to the public,” Adjutant of Windber American Legion John Venzon said.

“It’s going to streamline our kitchen,” Hamryszak said. “It’s going to make processes a little easier for our kitchen staff. Hopefully, help us cook better food with the right equipment.”

The Legion hopes to add more to its menu and increase its specials. They want to include items they never were able to try, such as steak. Callihan said that what they currently launched is their basic menu.

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“We’ll eventually start launching weekend dinners. We have a charbroil over there,” Callihan said. “There are some people here that want a steak night. Once we get to that, we’ll have a better idea. We launched our basic menu.”

All the management said that guests and visitor have received the new kitchen well.