COVINGTON TOWNSHIP -- A new restaurant in Lackawanna County is bringing a new meaning to mess hall, the place where service members go for meals on military bases.
A military mom opened a mess hall of her own and created her own way to serve.
From the outside of the Mess Hall on Route 435 in Covington Township, you'd never know about the stories on the walls inside.
"It's different," said Frank Drost of Olyphant. "I have never seen a place around here that has anything like this."
You can have breakfast next to a bunker, check out military memorabilia while you wait for your lunch, or study murals painted by veterans.
It's no wonder why vets, like Dean Genova, have been the best customers at the Mess Hall in its first two weeks.
"You know what, it really does, seeing the Humvee on the wall there, and seeing pictures and stuff, it really does bring me back, absolutely, yeah," Genova said.
The restaurant also has its own charity foundation.
the Mess Hall is asking its customers to leave behind some spare change and the restaurant is putting part of its weekly profits in, too.
"We help the vets, we help the active military families who are back here at home. Like, if they need something, a refrigerator, or a bill to be paid, it does help them. They can come here and we will help them to get what they need," said owner Anne Griffiths.
Griffiths came up with the military-themed restaurant as a way to honor two of her sons -- one a soldier, one a sailor.
But she also wanted to honor the ones that came before them. She's asking local vets to bring a picture or a memory to hang on the wall.
"I think they really like it because they come in, they sit, and they start talking to other tables, and everybody gets into the conversation. Next thing you know, we have the whole restaurant talking, and they talk about when they served, and stuff like that. They share their stories, and we like it," Griffiths said.