Renovated pub spices up drill weekends

  • Published
  • By David L. Yost
  • 446th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

Located within the Club at McChord Field lies the newly renovated McChord Pub, giving Citizen Airmen a different dining option or a place to order drinks during drill weekends.

Stocked from the well with a selection of a beer on tap, the grill has a pub like feel.

"We almost look like a real bar," said Dorte West, manager of the McChord Field Club.

The McChord Pub is now open on Unit Training Assembly Saturdays from 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. as well as Thursdays and Fridays.

After 11 months of renovations costing nearly $500,000, new additions include local artwork, a genuine wood floor, and new televisions mounted to the walls give the space a contemporary feel. A painting by Tacoma native and famed artist Dale Chihuly is set to be displayed soon, said West.

Yet the spirit of an old military watering hole remains, with squadron zaps affixed to the mirror behind the bar.

"We have a lot of retirees coming in, and we try to get them to try something different with the new menu," said West.

The bar has a shortened menu, though visitors can order from the larger menu offered at the McChord Grill which underwent renovations at the same time. It's open for people working on Joint Base Lewis McChord during the week from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

When looking for something fast yet healthy, the McChord Grill is becoming a sought after option.

"If I'm over here, this is an option for sure," said Staff Sgt. Karissa Basalyga, a member of the 1st Weather Squadron. "It's like a genuine restaurant, not like the dining facility."

The hope is that sentiment is shared across the many service members on JBLM. West has plans on increasing the bar menu, and holding more special events.

The annual Homebrew Competition was recently held, and a Mardi Gras celebration is scheduled for Feb. 24. As with any venture of this nature, the challenge is keeping customers engaged. West ultimately would like to see the diverse potential of the Club at McChord Field remain an option for JBLM personnel.

Those options are not limited to food and alcohol, but can range from private parties to office meetings. She's working with different tenant organizations to determine where the demand lies.

"Definitely try to reach out the squadrons to be more involved," said West. "We’re a great venue for organizations to come out and socialize."

The Club at McChord Field is located at 700 Barnes Blvd. Information can be found on their website,