DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — A tradition 28 years in the making is back to normal following a two-year pandemic-fueled change. Harbor Docks in Destin will be serving free meals at the Harbor Blvd. location on Thanksgiving Day.
“It’s a traditional Thanksgiving meal,” said shift-manager Houston Schweitzer. “We will be serving back inside the restaurant like we traditionally do every year so we’re excited about that.”
The store plans to serve more than 2,000 meals and is known to sell out in recent years. Schweitzer said traffic and long lines are something the public needs to be ready for.
“Our line will start around 10:30 a.m. and it typically goes past Gilligan’s,” said Schweitzer. “We open the doors at 11 a.m. and we’ll go to about 5:30 p.m. or until we run out of food.”
For the past two years, the meals were drive-thru style in the parking lot. This year Harbor Docks will not be doing any to-go meals but will serve everyone at tables on a first-come-first-served basis.
“We seat upon arrival but we’re quick,” said Schweitzer. “So the average wait should be about a 35-40 minute experience. Typically depending on how big the party is but we don’t rush anyone. As soon as they’re done eating, we take the plates, turn the table, and we seat another family.”
The food for the event is provided by the local food bank Destin Harvest Donations are accepted but are not necessary for the meals. All of the money raised will be donated to Habitat for Humanity in Destin and the Destin Harvest organization.
Owner Eddie Morgan said in previous years having people from all walks of life is the most impactful part of the annual event.
“We have some of our local homeless community that goes up on bicycles and gets a meal,” said Morgan. “Everyone’s coming together to enjoy a meal on the holidays and that’s what it is all about.”