By Emily Brainard, Army Flier StaffFebruary 25, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- After long workdays, many Soldiers desire to unwind in a relaxing atmosphere. For servicemembers who crave this kind of environment, a new outlet here should be open by the end of the year.
Plans are ongoing for a new sports bar, dubbed Mother Rucker's. A ground breaking is scheduled within the next few months and its grand opening is anticipated by late fall, according to Frank Zerbinos, business operations chief.
The bar will be constructed near the InterContinental Hotels Group building, formerly known as Army Lodging, in the large parking lot off Fifth Avenue, Zerbinos said. He noted contracts are currently being awarded and design plans finalized.
While "Mother Rucker" is a popular nickname for the installation among servicemembers stationed here, the moniker's history dates back to the 1960s and 70s, when it took student-pilots less than a year to complete training.
"Every nine months, 'Mother Rucker' gave birth to flight school students," said Col. Anthony Krogh, Community Activities Council president, noting this prompted planners to choose the facility's name.
Krogh said patrons can expect a more rustic feel than The Landing Zone, the Family-friendly bar and restaurant that opened here last year.
The facility incorporates a U-shaped bar to quench Soldiers' thirst, hamburger and hotdog bars and an outdoor patio. To showcase the installation's history, Zerbinos plans to decorate with shadow boxes representing each unit here, once found in the former Dawn Patrol, now The Landing Zone.
Zerbinos noted Mother Rucker's staff intends to target adult demographics.
"This is going to be a Soldier's place," he said. "Mother Rucker's is going to be a classic bar. It's a great place to go over after work and have a good time."
Krogh said the new facility is a continuation of what The Landing Zone currently offers the public - a place for friends to gather without going far from home.
"We have a large niche market that we need to fill," he said. "We want to provide that type of atmosphere while staying on post."
Mother Rucker's will replace the High Rise sports bar, currently located inside IHG. Zerbinos said the present bar will be renovated into a hotel breakfast area once the new facility opens.
Mother Rucker's concept supports Commanding General of U.S. Army Installation Management Command Lt. Gen. Rick Lynch's strategy to build camaraderie in the Army by offering new quality-of-life facilities, Zerbinos said.
Just like The Landing Zone, Mother Rucker's staff will offer on-post residents courtesy shuttle services to their homes.