image

Bar/Restaurant: American Legion Hall #519

Established: 1948

Area: Downtown Palm Springs

Typa Joint: Veterans’ Hall

Signature Cocktail: No, so I had a Maker’s rocks

image

One block from the hustle and bustle of downtown Palm Springs is American Legion Hall 519, established in 1948.

image

My friend Burt is a member and invited Maria and Bob and me to dinner on Friday night.

image

A blue-haired, bleeding heart liberal like me could feel like a fish out of water in a place like this. The stage was adorned with American flags and two life-sized cardboard cutouts – Ronald Reagan, and John Wayne.

During dinner, a singer with a karaoke-like set up channeled all the great crooners, from Johnny Mathis to Ray Price to Willie Nelson and Dean Martin.

image

Cocktails were five bucks and a filet mignon dinner was $15. About halfway through dinner the entertainer announced that he was raising money for his sick daughter-in-law, and he welcomed singers for a small donation.

I chose a song the Legionnaires, ages 70 to 90, would recall – Rosemary Clooney’s 1954 hit, “Mambo Italiano.” I had a great time!

image

A friend said I would violate the rules of Bent by reviewing an American Legion Hall, as there is more than one, and the rules are no chain bars or restaurants. She might be right! But in the spirit of Bent, I am BENDing the rules. After all, I doubt there is an American Legion Hall in the country that is exactly the same as any other.