By Jason Schock
The dust is currently clearing on the $350,000 remodeling project that has opened wide both the design and the future of the Falls City Elks Lodge 963 – and this Saturday a party will be hosted and a dream realized when the facelift is officially unveiled.
Monday evening, more than a dozen Elks were operating with a sense of urgency, applying a multitude of finishing touches to the transformation of one of Falls City’s most familiar gathering places. The Lodge will have membership’s undivided attention throughout the remainder of the week because ample work remains before the kegs are tapped and the dance floor’s hoppin’. But the fellas – and Kristy – insist it’ll be ready for Saturday, which is quite astonishing, considering power tools, pretty much blackballed from 14th and Stone Street since the ‘60s, weren’t initiated until November.
The Elks have worked, and continue to work, fast and furious – just as they did during the fundraising campaign – to make the construction phase a brief yet productive one. The building was almost entirely gutted, giving it a wide open look. The kitchen remains on the west side of the building and the second floor was untouched (as were the stairs that lead to it) and sealed off from the now-one level home of the Elks. The main bar is located in the northwest corner, while a secondary bar sits in the same vicinity of the old one, in place mainly for weddings and other large gatherings. A flat-screen TV will be visible from almost every imaginable angle, ensuring that all fans see for themselves when rumor swirls that Dennis Hullman does indeed have “that square” during the Super Bowl.
As winter thaws, the southeast side of the building will sprout a deck.
Volunteers – many of the same people working tirelessly Monday night – and donors (again, one and the same) made the vision a reality. Rob and Kristy Gerweck, Jerry Joy, Ben Hullman, Dan Simon, Dan and Cathy Scholl, Renee Kopf, Brian McKim and Brian Daake, just to name a few of the movers and shakers, were integral to enhancing the Elks Lodge and its capacity to endure as one of Falls City’s most familiar joints.
They’ll have it ready Saturday, too, proving once again that it’s the people who make the place.