Christopher Martins in New Haven Welcomes Diners in Need on Thanksgiving

The team at Christopher Martins restaurant in downtown New Haven is continuing its decadeslong tradition of opening its doors to the less fortunate on Thanksgiving.

On Thursday, hundreds of people will be welcomed into the restaurant for a full holiday feast, free of charge.

"There’s other people who don’t have what we have. So we always need to be reminded of that and give back to those who are less fortunate," longtime Christopher Martins bartender, Maria Porto, said. "Anyone who comes here is served a hot meal on china. It’s not a buffet. They’re served by waiters."

Pinto said of the meal that’s been an annual tradition at the State Street restaurant for around three decades.

Thanksgiving diners will also receive coats and other donated clothing. Volunteers were at the restaurant Wednesday night to sort through donated items to be given away. Among them were lots of children who are excited to be giving back.

"It gives a good feeling because you know you’re helping somebody,” Sal DeMaio, one of the children on hand to help with sorting donations, said.

"We’re going to help the people who need it, said 8-year-old volunteer Tessa Grillo. 

Those who have watched this annual tradition of giving said this is what Thanksgiving is all about.

"It touches me in many, many ways. As a family member of someone in need, as a parent for them to be able to see what it’s like to give back, it’s just an overall wonderful feeling," North Have resident and volunteer Kelly Grillo said.

Christopher Martins on 860 State Street in New Haven will serve Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday, November 23 beginning at 11 a.m. To contact the restaurant, call (203) 776-8835.

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