Baldwin American Legion Post 246 hosted an Independence Day “Welcome Back” barbecue last Saturday to celebrate the Fourth of July, the gradual reopening of Long Island and the building’s newly renovated dugout lounge for members.
The lounge, on the lower level of the building, at 2754 Grand Ave., is a work in progress, members said, but will be finished soon.
Legion members, as well as Sons of the Legion and Auxiliary members, celebrated in the building’s parking lot with food and drinks.
State Assemblywoman Judy Griffin attended the event, and dropped off a jug of hand sanitizer. Last year she helped secure $5,000 in funding for a unisex restroom in the Baldwin post’s lounge.
“I’m always happy to help support in any way we can to our American Legions,” Griffin said.
The lounge features a horseshoe oak bar, a beer tap, televisions and a surround sound system that was installed by TNT Electronics, a Baldwin business. The powder blue walls are accented by a rose-colored ceiling, and the paint was chosen by Post Commander Bob Hare and Nassau County Commander Al Ficalora.
The new look contrasts with the old lounge, which featured an L-shaped bar and lacked bright lighting. Renovating the space took about three months, Hare said.
Once finished, the space will be open every day to members and friends of the post. The hall above it, which is open to the public, has not seen much action since the beginning of the pandemic. But Hare said the post might be able to start hosting events again at half capacity in August.
Additionally, Hare said two U.S. Mint coins commemorating the 100th anniversary of the American Legion, as well as other coins, would be inlaid in an epoxy on the bar.
“We get to celebrate our nation’s birthday, and at the same time, we’re finally allowed to open up again after coronavirus,” Hare said, “so it’s a special holiday, and it’s an especially special Independence Day.”