Local businesses provide free meals to veterans
Published 10:27 am Thursday, November 12, 2015
By NEAL WAGNER / Managing Editor
ALABASTER – Chubb’s Grub Station employee Caleb Kelley quickly worked to grill and fry several different items at once in the restaurant’s kitchen at about 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 11.
“It’s been a little more than I expected,” Kelley said with a laugh as he darted from one cooking machine to another.
Throughout the day, Chubb’s, like several other Alabaster businesses, provided free meals to the men and women who have served or are serving our nation in the armed forces.
Although Kelley and his co-workers were swamped during the lunch rush, they weren’t complaining.
“I had heard of other restaurants doing things like this on Veterans Day, so I hoped we would do something similar,” Kelley said. “We’ve been busy, but it’s been worth it.”
Every veteran who visited Chubb’s on Nov. 11 received a free cheeseburger, French fries and a drink. By mid-afternoon, Kelley estimated the restaurant had been through between 150 and 200 burgers.
Elsewhere in the city, Sun and C’s Seafood Spot, which is also owned by Chubb’s owner Will Cholewinski, offered free fish plates to veterans, and Champy’s restaurant on Alabama 119 offered a free pound of hot wings to all military personnel. Franchise restaurants, such as Chick-Fil-A in the Propst Promenade shopping center, also offered free food to past and present military members.
Not all veterans who visited the local restaurants accepted free meals, but patronized the establishments to show their gratitude, Cholewinski said.
“We are honored and happy that we are able to honor them. The response has been fantastic,” Cholewinski said as he prepared for the dinner rush at Sun and C’s. “It’s very humbling for veterans to come in and look me in the eye and say ‘I’m not going to take your free food. I’m here to support you because you support us.”
Cholewinski, like many other local business owners, has plenty of military history in his family.
“There would be no Grub Station, no Sun and C’s, without those guys,” Cholewinski said of the veterans.