An odd thing happened when I started gathering up the annual list of restaurants open on Thanksgiving Day.
One restaurant owner, Ali Useini of the Twin City Diner in Neenah, said that if someone sitting in his restaurant were alone or unable to pay, that person’s turkey dinner would be on the house.
Useini will be open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thanksgiving Day with a regular menu for paying customers.
But from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., he’ll foot the bill for the turkey dinner when he sees someone in need in his restaurant.
“There are a lot of people out there who can’t pay $10 for dinner or are divorced and alone or don’t have family. I want them to be happy,” Useini said.
He has owned the diner at 927 S. Green Bay Road for three years, but now with development going on nearby, more customers have been coming through his doors.
“I’ve been doing OK so I can afford to do this,” he said about the generous gesture.
Occasionally, restaurants will host volunteer-run free community Thanksgiving dinners. There are also large free feasts put on by churches, like the big annual Christ the Rock Community Thanksgiving Dinner at Monarch Gardens. (For info, see christtherock.org.)
It’s unusual, however, to see this kind of small gesture that could make a big difference to someone who is alone.
— Maureen Wallenfang: 920-993-1000, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org; on Twitter @wallenfang