The Lentern Fish Fry at the VFW is a Naperville tradition dating back so far it’s hard to know exactly how long its been happening. Friday, the Lenten fish fry returns to the Judd Kendall VFW 3873.
The Lenten period, the 40 days from Ash Wednesday through Easter, doesn’t actually begin until next week, but the fish fry gets started in advance.
Mike Barbour, a past commander at the VFW, said the fish fry has been ongoing for at least 50 years, but it’s gone on so long, it’s hard to know when it actually started.
“One of the neat things that has happened is we have third generations of families coming to this thing with their kids now,” he said. “There are not a lot of places you can go where the kids can go and play and color” while families enjoy a meal.
The fish fry is held from 5 to 8 p.m. on Fridays through April 6. At the Friday night fish fry roughly 450 people will attend, Barbour said.
The event also allows the VFW to showcase its space, which is open to rentals, he said.
“The one thing that since I was commander we’ve been trying to fight is the image that a VFW Post is a place where a bunch of old guys sit around drinking, telling war stories,” he said. The fish fry helps to show off the space.
Belgio’s caters the fish fry and there are two fish offerings, along with meat and pasta to choose from, Barbour said. The kids can enjoy chicken nuggets.
The fish fry isn’t exactly all you can eat, but Barbour describes it as, “as much as you care to eat.” Some diners overload there plates, he said, but it is possible to go back for more.
Soft drinks are included in the price. Anyone of legal age who wants an alcoholic beverage must purchase it separatly, though the VFW often runs drink specials during the fish fry, Barbour said.
The cost to attend the fish fry is $11 for adults, $10 for seniors and $7 for children. To learn more and view the weekly menu visit the VFW.