A couple of sailors on shore leave while in NYC for Fleet Week took to wandering the streets looking for local food and good place to drink that was not a tourist place. After much wandering and sampling a bit of this and a bit of that from a number of different places, they noticed a neon sign down a little side street for "Veteran's Bar." As it was getting close to dinner before doing any serious drinking, the two sailors thought they'd give it a look and have a drink or two.
As non-descript as it looked from the outside, it was like entering a different world as soon as they entered. The place wasn't huge but it did have a long bar in the front where you first enter. Looking past the bar down the side of the room were a number of tables and some nice pool tables in the back section. There were a few good looking ladies in there as well. The smells coming from the kitchen made it clear that THIS was the place to eat. Too small for live music, a great sound system was cranking out some solid sounds.
At the bar, there were a few guys at the other end, sour looks on their faces, pigging out on the free peanuts. They smiled and waved to them, but got nothing in return.
"What'ill it be?" asked the bartender. He could have been from central casting – weather worn older guy, but still ruggedly built. With his sleeves rolled up, you could see the eagle holding the US flag and anchor on one arm, and a hula girl on the other.
"I'll take a tall cold beer, and my friend here will have a gin and tonic."
"Right with ya!" and in a moment they were cooling their throats. After a few more rounds, the bartender asked "Ya stayin' for dinner? We serve up some great chow here – I got recipes from around the world and it's a different special nightly in addition to the best burgers and chili you'll find anywhere."
"Sounds great! We'll pay our bar tab and start a new one for dinner and drinks"
"OK, that'll be $2.25 USD"
"You sure? That's for three beers and three gin and tonics"
"Yep. I'm sure."
"OK, happy to take advantage of you but we've got to know…what's the story?"
"Well, I'm a retired Master Chief Boatswains Mate, and happened to hit it big in the NY State Lottery right after I retired with 30. Always like the idea of having my own bar. Wife died, don't have kids, no family, really. So I bought this place, fixed it up and as long as the millions I won in the lottery hold out, active duty and retired get mixed drinks for a quarter and beer for a dime."
"Man, that is great of you. But what's the deal with the deadbeats at the end of the bar? haven't seen them order a drink the whole time we've been here."
"You gotta understand that's just the way they are. They're all air force and they are waiting for happy hour."