New Averill Park restaurant serves up support for local veterans

AVERILL PARK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – There’s a new place to grab a bite to eat and say “thanks” to a military veteran.

It’s called the Mess Hall, and it certainly lives up to its name.  It serves cafeteria-style food just like the military, and the motif continues throughout the entire restaurant down to the curtains and the stools.

But the family that owns it said it’s more than a restaurant. It’s also a way to say thank you to those that served.

Shaun Hardy learned to cook while on a Navy destroyer. He and his wife, Noelle, opened the Averill Park restaurant on Monday.

“Everyone that I served this morning was a veteran,” he said. “Army, National Guard, and all different ages.”

The Mess Hall specializes in take home, family sized meals. It’s an ode to the couple’s military families whose pictures cover the walls.

Shaun’s picture is on the wall as he joined the Navy like his grandfather. After his time of service, he went to culinary school.

His dad, Jim Hardy, said opening a restaurant like the Mess Hall was always a dream.

“I’m so happy that this dream came true and that he could do it with his family,” he said.

The whole family is involved: Shaun’s dad, mom and stepfather. The couple’s children also take part, and Noelle hopes to set an example in following your dreams.

“Just never give up,” she said.

A place catered to veterans, but if you’re not one, Shaun said it’s a good place to meet one and say “thank you.”

“Sitting, rubbing shoulders with them and just talk to a veteran,” he said.

Honoring veterans that are still with us and remembering those who aren’t.

“I think they would love it,” Noelle said. “Just being able to talk about it. It’s sad they aren’t here, but this is kind of our way of saying thank you.”

The restaurant is open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and it provides catering on the weekend. The menu changes every week.

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