WVA employees get a new snack bar and dining area

By Matthew DaySeptember 15, 2023

WVA employees get a new snack bar and dining area
1 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Building 21 O'Keefe Hall, the former post restaurant, is slated to be the location of the new Watervliet Arsenal MWR Snack Bar. Construction and renovations are scheduled to be completed by the end of the year with food service beginning October 2023. (Photo Credit: Matthew Day) VIEW ORIGINAL
WVA employees get a new snack bar and dining area
2 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – Construction is underway on the kitchen in O’Keefe Hall, formerly the Watervliet Arsenal post restaurant, to modernize the facility to prepare fresh food for the new WVA MWR Snack Bar scheduled to open by the end of 2023. (Photo Credit: Matthew Day) VIEW ORIGINAL
WVA employees get a new snack bar and dining area
3 / 3 Show Caption + Hide Caption – The machine shop break room is one of three newly renovated break areas that Watervliet Arsenal leadership completed to provide workers with a modern, safe and clean area to store, prepare and eat food during lunch and breaks. (Photo Credit: Matthew Day) VIEW ORIGINAL

WATERVLIET ARSENAL, NY September 15, 2023 — The long-awaited return of freshly cooked food at Watervliet Arsenal is now on the horizon for the men and women at America’s cannon and mortar factory, with arsenal leaders announcing the opening of a new snack bar and dining area this fall.

Since the closure of WVA’s snack bars in 2020, the civilian workforce at the arsenal has been left without convenient food options. Many employees travel outside the gate or rely on packed food from home during their lunch break.

“Opening the Morale, Welfare and Recreation snack bar is about improving the quality of life for the men and women of our workforce,” said Col. Alain Fisher, Watervliet Arsenal commander. “Ensuring our employees have ready access to hot food during their breaks and lunch is just one part of the efforts we are making to create an environment where people are comfortable and enjoy coming to work.”

Since early summer, Watervliet Arsenal staff have coordinated with local food trucks to provide breakfast and lunch on the arsenal. Additionally, break areas were set up for employees to use during breaks and lunchtime. While the food trucks and break areas have been well-received, additional developments are underway behind the scenes.

Substantial efforts are currently underway to transform the post restaurant into a customer centered snack bar and dining facility. According to Erik Pakosz, chief of public works at the arsenal, “the new snack bar design caters to the workforce’s needs.”

The project is a complete overhaul of the dining facility to make the customer experience better, including new furniture. The kitchen area will also be upgraded with new equipment.

The snack bar and dining facility are making a comeback through a partnership with Picatinny Arsenal’s MWR program.

“We started working on plans to develop the new MWR snack bar in February, shortly after we were tasked with overseeing the Family and MWR programs at Watervliet,” said Andrew Ciccolella, Picatinny Arsenal’s director of Family and MWR. “Our goal was to create a space that offers reliable and convenient service while enhancing the quality of life for those working at the arsenal.”

The new dining facility will serve both breakfast and lunch in a casual dining space. Customers will order off a fixed menu as well as enjoy daily specials announced at the start of each week. Restaurant staff will prepare fresh food and serve it directly to customers at the pickup window. The snack bar will also feature a dining area for those who wish to dine in.

To expedite the opening, the project was divided into two phases. Phase one is the snack bar and service kitchen, and phase two is the creation of a separate snack bar dining area.

The snack bar will operate on weekdays, with its menu and hours changing based on customer preferences. The initial menu will include breakfast sandwiches, grill items, wraps, salads, and a wide array of grab-and-go snack items and beverages.

Arsenal leaders anticipate the reopening of the first phase by November 2023, with final renovations concluding by the end of the year.

Watervliet Arsenal is an Army-owned-and-operated manufacturing facility and is the oldest continuously active arsenal in the United States, having begun operations during the War of 1812. Today the arsenal is relied on by U.S. and allied militaries to produce high-tech, high-powered and advanced cannons, howitzers and mortar systems.