In 1785, English poet William Cowper wrote "Variety's the very spice of life, That gives it all its flavor." More variety for dining out during lunch on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall became a reality Jan 9, with the opening of Spates Community Club for weekday lunch as well as extended service at the Fort Myer Officers Club.

Lunch is now served at Spates Skylight Room, Bldg. 407, 214 McNair Road, Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. -- 1 p.m. The facility will be closed for lunch on weekends and federal holidays. Patrons have the option to dine in or order food to go and it is open for servicemembers and federal identification card holders.

"We have burgers, fries and pizza available at the bowling center, the paninis and grilled foods at The Old Guard Lounge," said Ocie Jacobs Pejcic, marketing manager at DFMWR. "The manager and chef at Spates decided to offer a theme menu daily and then changing what is offered for the themed food each week would be a good way to offer variety in addition to offering healthy menu options," she added.

Spates weekly hot buffet specials will be offered for $6.50. Monday's theme was "healthy" featuring all-you-can-eat soup and salad and fruit bar. Tuesday's special will be Asian food, followed by all-American Wednesday, Italian Thursday and Fish Friday. Patrons can also choose from lunch basket combos or the a la carte menu.

"We can seat about 60 comfortably," said Jamey Westerman, Spates Community Club manager. "I think the food is great, and I hope it's successful. We're hopeful for a very good turnout with a rotating menu and specials every week."

"Eating lunch at Spates is a good alternative for dining on the joint base," said Marine Maj. Sken Alicka, who works in the Inspector General's Office at the Navy Annex.

"I'm hoping when they're more established, they offer more robust choices at the salad bar," added Alicka's coworker, Marine Maj. Kris Pirttinen.

"We're excited to offer something new," said Christina Darensbourg, business operations and community recreation officer for DFMWR on JBM-HH. "We hope business will come in, which will increase our revenue to be able to offer other activities for Soldiers." Darensbourg explained that money generated through these lunches goes back to Soldiers for various programs through DFMWR.

The Fort Myer Officers Club Old Guard Lounge, located on the lower floor of the facility at 214 Jackson Avenue, also was open for the first Monday lunch Jan. 9. Lunch will be served there Monday -- Saturday from 11:30 a.m-2 p.m. and will be closed Sundays and federal holidays.

"There will be no hot plate special at The Old Guard Lounge on Mondays," Darensbourg said. The lounge at the officers club will offer an a la carte menu and full salad bar on Mondays.

Menus for both locations are available at or on Facebook.