Bob's Diner's annual Thanksgiving dinner provides free meals to residents of Hudson Valley
An annual tradition returned to Brewster this holiday season. The Thanksgiving dinner at Bob's Diner in Brewster has become a mainstay over the years, continuing its mission to provide a sense of camaraderie in the community.
"It's all been positive," said owner Thomas Sprague. "Everybody always seems grateful and happy."
The idea started 16 years ago when Sprague wanted to find a special way to give back to others during the holidays. After asking his family to start something along the lines of a soup kitchen, the diner’s free Thanksgiving meal was born.
"We invite anyone that wants to come down and have a hot meal," he said. "Then, they can have someone to sit with and not be alone."
What originally started as a family affair soon became a community-wide effort, with people from all types of families and cultures coming together to provide a Thanksgiving dinner for others.
"Imagine going to somebody's house and you get to have 50 households put together a dinner where they have their best dish," said Sprague. "That's what it's like here. It's generally the best thing each house can make, and then they bring it here."
After seeing the evolution of the community's involvement, customers said they feel the love and support at Bob's Diner.
"It's great," said one customer. "The people are very nice here, and the food was fantastic." Lynn MacArthur, another diner at the restaurant, said the hospitality from the staff at Bob's Diner is also what kept her coming back throughout the years.
"[I came for] a great meal with great people and associations," she said. "It means a lot...especially [since] times are hard [and] food is expensive."
After seeing the dinner evolve into what it is today, Sprague feels truly lucky to spread the importance of the season of giving.
“It's this completeness that I'm able to get...that I'm able to create an opportunity where the community can help out also," he said.
Bob's Diner is located at 27 Main St. in Brewster.