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VILSECK, Germany — The ratio was overwhelming — 50 guys to two women — at Vilseck’s new on-post sports bar.

The Zone, which opened Jan. 4, fills what used to be an auditorium inside the Langenbruk Center — a large building near the 2nd Cavalry (Stryker) Regiment headquarters at Vilseck. It includes numerous flat-screen televisions above the bar and around the room. There are various amusements, other than beer, that range from basketball shooting games to pool tables. The decor includes dim lighting and larger than life posters of sporting icons.

Patrons can order food from the Tumbleweed restaurant, already famed for its slow service, which occupies part of the building.

The lack of female patrons means there is a minimum of eye-candy to distract dedicated sports fans from the big game.

A foray into The Zone last Friday suggested that it is already popular with 2nd Cav’s entertainment-starved troops. It is clearly a vast improvement on their previous on-post hangout — the aging Yesterday’s Club, on the other side of the post, which had a similar but more tightly packed clientele.

“At least here we don’t have to put up with strange people trying to dance,” said one 2nd Cav comedian, referring to Yesterday’s notorious bar-side dance floor.

The lack of women was a disappointment to single soldiers at the bar who said they’d head off-post to find female company. But it wasn’t a problem for Pfc. Devon McGinnis, 19, from Horseheads, N.Y.

“There are not a lot of women but that is fine with me because I’ve got a fiancee back home,” he said.

The sports bar is like a day room for Army guys, he said.

“We get to hang out with our bros and listen to good music,” he added.

One 2nd Cav soldier described life in the barracks as: “like living with a bunch of cave men.”

But conversation amongst troops at the sports bar was not just about sport. It ran the gamut from politics to religion and war. At one table an atheist and a Christian debated the existence of God while nearby a neo-conservative discussed the coming Iraq troop surge with a skeptic.

Another 2nd Cav drinker — Pfc. Jacob Sells, 21, of Tuttle, Okla. — said last Friday was his second time at The Zone and he expects to come there every weekend to talk with his friends and watch his favorite sports team, the Oklahoma Sooners, play.

Another sports bar patron, Pfc. Michael Miller, of North Charleston, S.C., said it was his fourth or fifth time at the bar.

“What’s cool about the sports bar is you don’t have to worry about anything here,” he added.

See previous After Hours reviews here.

The Zone

Drink prices: German beer ($2.50); American beer ($2.25); cocktails and in the near future, wine.

Cover charge: None

Food: Mexican food along with buffalo wings, steak, and spare ribs from next door’s Tumbleweed restaurant is served in the bar.

Entertainment: Flat-screen TVs show various sporting events. There are also pool tables and basketball hoops.

Clientele: Mostly Americans, of the 2nd Cav variety

Dress: Casual

Location: Building 607 (Langenbruck Center), Vilseck. Hours: Thursday, Sunday and Monday — 6pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday — 6pm to 1am.

Phone: 09662833733

Web site: None

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