The Woodstock Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5040 has moved back to its original location on Throop Street and plans to offer a Queen of Hearts raffle and regular restaurant service.
The veterans club has partnered with Carl Gordon and Lily Reyes, who run Woodstock-based Chi-Cal Katering. The duo plans to offer an eclectic menu that features fusion-style meals, along with regular Friday fish-frys, Taco Tuesdays, burger specials on Wednesdays and an all-you-can-eat pasta bar on Thursdays.
“We do everything from Jamaican food to American gastropub food,” Gordon said. “We will also be offering something McHenry County has probably never had or done, which is Soul Food Sundays.”
The club plans to begin offering lunch hours in the coming weeks, and the two plan to offer a “secret menu” that brings unique meals or challenges to foodies in the area, Reyes said.
“We want to create fun things to engage our customers,” she said. “We want to bring something different.”
A new Queen of Hearts raffle will begin Dec. 6 and be held Thursday nights. The jackpot will start at $1,000, said Jes Schack, the club’s post commander and bar manager.
A soft grand opening is planned for Friday. The family-friendly event will include the traditional fish fry and feature music, a face painter and balloon artist. The meal is $12 for adults and $7 for children. A round of “Lightning” – a game similar to bingo – and raffles also will be offered.
“This is an atmosphere for the entire family,” Reyes said. “We definitely want them to come with their little ones and try our food.”
The VFW opens at 4 p.m. with events taking place throughout the evening. The public is welcome to attend.
The VFW operated at this location, 240 N. Throop St., for 75 years before opening in its Main Street building on the Woodstock Square in 2017. The space was significantly smaller, not accessible to members in wheelchairs and didn’t have a parking lot, which all posed challenges, Schack said.
“As a VFW, we need to make sure we can get the most of our veterans in,” Schack said. “Without parking and handicap accessibility, the Square just wasn’t the place for us.”
The club will host a Veterans Day event at 11 a.m. Sunday, and will include speakers and a lunch afterward, where veterans will eat free.
“It is also a welcome back to this facility,” Schack said. ‘This has been our home for forever. We did try something new, but this is home.”
Event updates can be followed on the VFW’s Facebook page.