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The VFW, right, is seen adjacent to the Boathouse restaurant Friday, July 22, 2016, in Chattanooga, Tenn.
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Diners at the Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar enjoy the view from the deck.

A Chattanooga VFW Hall got a new lease on life, and customers at the Boathouse Rotisserie and Raw Bar alongside the Tennessee River will have an easier time parking under a real estate deal due to wrap up soon.

One week from today, VFW Post 4848 plans to have an evening grand opening at its new hall at 2402 Amnicola Highway.

The VFW Post sold its old building at 1491 Riverside Drive next to the Boathouse to the restaurant's owners for $1.5 million a number of months ago because the restaurant wanted the parking space and the Post needed the money.

"We were going to have to close down, because we weren't making any money down there," post Commander C.L. Thompson said. "It got us out of debt, and we've got some operating capital, now."

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The Boathouse, which has always leased a portion of the old VFW Post's parking space, now can use it all.

"It kind of alleviates some of our parking issues," said Jesse Rogers, managing partner at the Boathouse. "We had people that would circle around and couldn't find a place to park."

The Boathouse may use the old VFW building as an event hall.

"We're looking at doing some events," Rogers said. "It's actually big enough that we might have a band."

The VFW Post paid $655,000 for its new building on Amnicola Highway, according to records at the Hamilton County Property Assessor's Office.

"It's free and clear," said Thompson, who likes the new building better than the old one.

VFW Post 4848 has around 463 members, Thompson said, but many of them aren't active. The Post is open on Saturday nights to the public for a cover charge of $5 a head. The rest of the week, the Post is only open to members and their guests.

Thompson plans to hand the keys for the old building soon to the Boathouse's owners. While the sale closed a while ago, the Boathouse has let the VFW use the old Post while it got its new space ready.

The Boathouse's general partner is Lawton Haygood, who also owns and operates area restaurants Sugar's Ribs and the Canyon Grill.

Contact staff writer Tim Omarzu at tomarzu @timesfreepress.com or www.facebook.com/MeetsForBusiness or twitter.com/meetforbusiness or 423-757-6651.

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