November 25, 2008 | SMITHFIELD -- For roughly
five decades a bar has sat right on Main Street,
and many city residents don't even know it exists.
In the late 1940's the American Legion moved
into what was once a mercantile store on the corner
of 100 South and Main and has been there ever
since. Available to American Legion members and
family as well as Veterans of Foreign Wars, it
is a military canteen. The canteen offers a pool
table and a television to its patrons as well
as a variety of drinks. Along with regular sodas,
alcoholic beverages are also served.
"Even though they serve alcohol, which in this
community is pretty conservative, it does serve
a purpose," deputy recorder and Legionnaire Char
Izatt said. "If they want to have a drink or two
they can come in and see their comrades and visit.
It's just kind of a place for them to socialize."
Izatt was quick to point out that though the
bar may be hidden in the community, the charity
events, fund-raisers and programs that the Legion
supports and puts on are not.
The hours of operation for the canteen vary,
but it is usually open from 5:30 p.m. to midnight.
Adjutant Frank Nilson runs the bar and keeps track
of the patrons.
The American Legion building on Main Street in
Smithfield. / Photo by Tim Olsen