By KIRSTEN LASKEY
Los Alamos Daily Post
The Sheriff’s Posse Lodge is a popular joint in town. It is the venue for meetings, dances, dinners, weddings and breakfasts.
Its kitchen has served everything from barbecue to pancakes and the public has enjoyed these meals sitting on picnic-style tables inside and on the patio of the rustic historic building.
Frequent use means the kitchen is due for a renovation and the Los Alamos Sheriff’s Posse is looking for the community’s help to get the renovations done. Geoff Brown, president of the Sheriff’s Posse Board, explained the kitchen renovation project includes replacing the tiled floor with an epoxy industrial floor, installing National Sanitation Foundation appliances, putting stainless steel covers on the walls, purchasing a new vent, a new sink, work tables and roasters to replace the old steam table.
Past President Anna Giambra added that a hand wash station would be included and work would be done to the women’s restroom. If there is time and money, the men’s restroom also will be renovated.
“We’re just bringing it all up to date with the NMED (New Mexico Environment Department) code,” Brown explained. “They give us a temporary food permit every month that covers us for our storage, our cooking, our serving and cleaning. But since we do it every month, they want us to have a permanent food permit. So that’s why we need to meet more detailed food requirements.”
Renovations are scheduled to begin Dec. 7 and work is expected to be completed Jan. 28 since the lodge is going to be rented for use Jan. 29. The estimated total cost is $20,000.
“We’ve been saving every year for the past four years,” Brown said, adding that donations from the community are still appreciated.
An account is set up at Los Alamos National Bank. More volunteers to help with the work also are needed.
“The renovations will be completely done by Sheriff’s Posse members and volunteers,” Brown said. “We are going to use our posse volunteers and whoever else we can pull in.”
Any donation of time and money will go toward preserving the local landmark. Giambra said it is a historic building that a lot of people have used at one time or another.
Brown added the Sheriff Posse is “home-grown, grassroots volunteers. We just do it because we want the building to continue to be used.”
“It’s a community resource. It’s something anyone can use.” he said
Plus, the Posse Lodge is pretty unique. “It’s a piece of history for the county,” Brown said, “and it’s important to preserve for future generations. It’s something you can’t find anywhere else in town or nearby.”
Giambra pointed out that although renovations will occur, the kitchen will not be closed. The posse will still offer six charity cowboy breakfasts although there will not be a breakfast held in January.
The Sheriff’s Posse Lodge has had a long history in Los Alamos. Brown said it was built in 1958 and the posse helped the Atomic Energy Commission patrol the fences. For the past 10 or 12 years, the Posse Lodge has served up cowboy breakfasts, which benefit local organizations, the first Sunday of every month.
Despite its extensive use, Brown said they can not remember the last time the kitchen was renovated. However, improvements have been made to the building. In 2013, the septic tank was replaced and Eagle Scouts have helped re-roof the shed and replace fascia board around the roof.