Colorado Restaurant Opens Its Doors For Feast After Floods
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Ari Shapiro. Happy Thanksgiving.
In mid-September, devastating floods swept through Colorado. The South Platte River submerged the town of Greeley, washing away mobile homes and destroying houses. Today, roads have reopened but many people still have nowhere to go for Thanksgiving. So a restaurant called the Roadkill Sports Grill is offering a free Thanksgiving dinner for people in need. We reached Rob Haimson. He's the owner of the restaurant. Welcome to the program and happy Thanksgiving.
ROB HAIMSON: Thanks to you, as well.
SHAPIRO: What's the scene there at the restaurant right now?
HAIMSON: Well, you know, we've got, you know, about 100 people kind of coming and going, a lot of volunteers from the community trying to help us out. So we're having fun watching them mess up our kitchen and taking care of the folks.
SHAPIRO: And how many are you expecting to serve today?
HAIMSON: Well, we're capable of serving 3 or 400. I don't think we're quite yet there. You know, I guess 150 to 200 probably.
SHAPIRO: Thinking that you won't quite get to 300 to 400 sounds like a good sign that maybe not that many people are in need of some help this Thanksgiving?
HAIMSON: I hope so. I mean, that's certainly what your hope would be. Any leftover food we have we'll, you know, we'll give to the appropriate organizations, whether it be the Salvation Army or the food banks or whatever.
SHAPIRO: So what's the feeling there today? Is it sort of like a typical day at the restaurant, a family dinner, or more like a soup kitchen?
HAIMSON: Probably a little more like the soup kitchen. The real fun part, I mean, obviously is helping anybody that needs help. I mean, I'm very good with that. The fun part is actually kind of watching the volunteers because, you know, they're not our typical regular customers. You know, because we're just a, you know, kind of sports bar, burger and beer joint. But what I'm finding is representatives from the community who aren't my regular customers are jumping in and they're happy to be here and they're excited and they want to do more. And it's just - that's kind of fun to watch, too.
SHAPIRO: How did you get volunteers to come help out today?
HAIMSON: Well, the newspaper kind of helped us out and just said that we, you know, they did a little blurb about a week ago, and we let them know that we needed some volunteers. And I probably - I've got about 25, 30 people here today, but I'll bet I turned away 200.
SHAPIRO: Wow. Why did you decide to do this dinner?
HAIMSON: I think, you know, you kind of mentioned that with, you know, with the floods where, you know, we weren't directly affected. You know, 10 minutes in every direction, there was devastation. And we just thought it might be a good time to, you know, sort of reach out and help out. We just felt like it was something good to do.
ARI SHAPIRO: And tomorrow, back to business as usual?
HAIMSON: Back to normal.
SHAPIRO: That's Rob Haimson, owner of the Roadkill Sports Grill in Greeley, Colorado. Thanks for joining us.
HAIMSON: You bet. Thanks for calling.
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