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Nebraska Bar’s Heartfelt Surprise: Truck Left Overnight Gets You Free Burger & Fries!

A Nebraska woman had no idea what was in store when her husband told her he was going to meet a buddy at a pub. She was surprised to find a message on her husband’s truck after he had left it overnight at the pub, and she took to social media to share the news.


What transpired in the parking lot of Scott and Carla Swanson’s Gering, Nebraska bar, the Union Bar and Grill, on a routine Saturday night has garnered far more attention than the Swansons could have ever anticipated. Austin Martin started everything off when he went to the bar to meet a friend and ended up leaving his truck parked there for the night.

Janelle, Austin’s wife, picked him up at the dealership early the following morning. At that point, Janelle and Austin discovered a message on the windscreen of Austin’s truck, which had been parked outside the pub since the night before after Austin had been picked up by Janelle. Janelle immediately took to social media after reading the email to share her reaction and explain what had transpired.

As Janelle put it on Facebook, “More bars should take note from Scott and Carla Swanson,” referring to the proprietors of the Union Bar and Grill. My husband, Austin, had a friend to pick him up from the pub last night, so he left his truck there. I brought him to fetch his truck this morning and he found this note on it. — at The Union Bar’, she wrote, attaching a photo of the note and naming the bar.


The letter started out, “Dear Union Bar and Grill Park Guest,” and thanked the recipient for leaving their vehicle in the bar’s parking lot overnight. Whether or not you drank at our establishment, please accept our sincere appreciation for choosing not to get behind the wheel under the influence of alcohol. The most surprising revelation, however, was still to come.

“Bring this letter to the bar and we will give you a Hamburger and Frend Fries,” the offer stated. Here’s a token of our appreciation for your responsible behaviour. The owners of the Union Bar and Grill, Scott and Carla Swanson, signed it, saying “Life is valuable, have a great day.”

Because they don’t want anyone to drink and drive, the owners of the Union Bar and Grill give complimentary meals to anyone who parks overnight in their parking lot instead of towing their cars. Given that such a selfless effort has the potential to save lives, it is not surprising that the touching note has spread far and wide.

As a result of the post’s popularity, reporters from the local news station visited Union Bar and Grill to speak with owners Scott and Carla Swanson. In the past, bargoers have taken to social media to share similar letters. Since it’s been posted numerous times before, Scott can’t explain why it suddenly become popular.


Scott added, “Carla and I pulled into the parking lot a couple of years ago,” describing the night the letter concept was conceived. And I remark and she mentions that, you know, we ought to think of something to do for the individuals that are responsible, because we had a really good night the night before and there were ten cars in the parking lot,” he added. He credited his wife Carla with the inspiration, saying, “She came up with the idea,” and added that he was very sure she’d seen something similar before. Since then, the two have been doing the letter whenever one of them is responsible.

Scott added that they send out letters offering free burgers and fries “sparingly” and “sporadically,” so that people don’t take advantage of the good gesture for the sake of getting a free meal. They are relieved, though, that their letter and Janelle Martin’s post went viral. Carla Swanson has stated her desire for other pubs to take note (pardon the pun) and consider offering similar perks to their clientele.

The letter is a message from Carla and Scott Swanson to the truckers and patrons of Union Bar and Grill, reminding them of the value of life. “My message to them is don’t drink and drive and get a ride if you’ve been drinking too much,” Scott said after Carla concluded, “the more we can get rid of people driving and drinking, the better it is for every community.”

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