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It’s the time of year to fill stomachs and give thanks, and once again, Coffee Pot Restaurant is doing both.

The restaurant, near the corner of State Route 89A and Coffee Pot Road in West Sedona, has made a tradition of giving back to the community by doing what they do best — cook.

A full spread of traditional Thanksgiving items is provided free to anyone who shows up two days before Thanksgiving, Tuesday, Nov. 22, from 4 to 7 p.m. No need has to be shown and people can come alone or bring the whole family.

“Everybody is invited. Please come over to celebrate the holiday. It’s a tradition every year,” owner Emile Daher said.

Though the line that forms before the doors open for the meal may seem long, it moves quickly as Daher’s staff keeps things organized. Get to know the people you wait with, as seating places neighbors at the same tables, creating a community atmosphere.

To help with the hundreds of people who show up, Sedona and Verde Valley fire districts lend a helping hand, and occasionally a few plastic fire helmets to the kids.

Daher said that based on previous years, he expects between 400 and 500 people will show.

Daher’s staff — which includes some of his own blood-related family in addition to the family he has created with his employees — donates their time to the event. Daher said that for them, serving has become part of their holiday tradition, and employees are welcome to bring their families to share in the holiday spirit. Daher has kept many of his staff since the beginning, with some going past the two-decade mark. Daher boasts that one of his cooks has been with him for 27 years.

“It’s been exactly the same people,” Daher said. “Every employee here looks forward to it, because the people that come in, they’re customers and they’re friends.”

As far as an extra workload, Daher said the meal count is normal for a crew that averages hundreds of tickets every day.

Daher emphasized that the meal is free. Donations are accepted, though, and are donated to the Sedona Community Food Bank, along with the leftover turkey. Last year, participants donated $3,500.

Free Meals
Nov. 22: Coffee Pot Restaurant, Sedona, 4 to 7 p.m.
Nov. 22: Bread of Life Community Dinner at the Camp Verde Parks and Recreation Gym, Camp Verde, 5:30 to 7 p.m.
Nov. 23: Old Town Mission, Cottonwood, noon to 2:30 p.m.
Nov. 24: Georgie’s Cafe, Cottonwood, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Nov. 24: Sedona Elks Lodge, Sedona, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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