Celebrating Local Veterans

The entryway to Bugsy’s on Main, Union, is like a time capsule for some diners.

The small room where patrons are greeted by a hostess features photographs of local residents who have served in the military during wartime.

“These are people who have a connection with, or who have supported Bugsy’s,” said Mark Vincent, one of the building owners.

He explained that the idea for the black and white 8 by 10 photos fits with the decor of the restaurant, which is styled after 1920s and 1930s eating and drinking establishments.

“This was another opportunity for decorations and to honor these guys,” Vincent added.

Featured on the wall are local veterans, including three from World War I, two from the Korean conflict and the rest from World War II.

“This is more for the predecessors than the contemporaries,” Vincent said.

There are representatives of the Air Force, Marines, Navy and Army.

Vincent noted that there is a man who was killed during D-Day and another who landed that same day on a beach of Normandy, France.

On the walls are those who have been business owners in Union, and some who still support the community and the restaurant.

Vincent said the intention is for those coming to eat dinner at Bugsy’s to see familiar faces.

Among the photos of the wall are the five Schuenemeyer brothers who all served.

“Their family came in one night and they thought it was really cool,” Vincent said.

Bugsy’s opened for business in 2010. It is built at the site of the former Rick’s Steakhouse that burned to the ground in December 2008.

“As soon as the lobby was built and decorations started going up, I knew what I wanted to do,” said Vincent.

He added that initially there were four photos with no name tags and diners would come in and possibly recognize those in the pictures.

Now there are too many photos and identification was necessary.

“These are former neighbors, guys who started the Legion Post (297),” said Vincent. “The impact they have had is just amazing.”

Vincent said that eventually there could be a bio next to each photo that includes the branch of military and where each person served.

“These are a conversation piece,” he said. “But this is not somber — this is a fun place. It is not a memorial.

“This is to remember and laugh about what these guys did and to see them,” added Vincent.