Hickory House sets Thanksgiving table | AspenTimes.com

Hickory House sets Thanksgiving table

Janet Urquhart
Aspen, CO Colorado

Paul Conrad/The Aspen Times

ASPEN ” More dependable than early season snowfall, the Hickory House Thanksgiving feast returns Thursday, ensuring a turkey dinner replete with the traditional trimmings for all who show up. At least, until the food runs out.

The Main Street restaurant opens at noon for the annual community dinner. As always, it’s free, though the Hickory House will again request a $5 donation to benefit the Buddy Program.

“Last year, we had the best year we ever had, but we’d love to break that this year,” said general manager Brian Jack. Last year’s dinner donations added up to roughly $4,500 for the program that matches adult buddies with area youngsters, he said.

The Hickory House won’t be open for breakfast on Thursday, giving the staff time to prepare for the onslaught of diners who show up to consume the turkey, roast beef, mashers, stuffing, gravy, green beans, pie and more. The buffet line opens at noon and continues until the food disappears ” usually, things wrap up between 5 and 6 p.m., Jack said.

His staff began smoking the 55 turkeys that will be prepared for the feast on Tuesday.

Hickory House owner Paul Dioguardi adopted the Thanksgiving dinner tradition when he bought the restaurant business in 1998, but he’s not the only one whose contributions help make it happen.

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The building’s owner, Tong Luu, donates the turkeys and restaurant supplier U.S. Foodservice also donates to the feast. Paradise Bakery sends over cookies, while Main Street Bakery and Cafe and Lisa Joe’s All Things Sweet donate pies. Aspen Party Rentals chips in with the necessary equipment to have hundreds of people over for dinner.

For many, the annual event means a communal dinner when one is far from home and family. For others, who may not have an oven or any clue how to use one, the Hickory House guarantees a home-style Thanksgiving dinner.

“It’s a good thing for the community. It benefits a lot of people. … It’s a really good deal, and the food is awesome,” Jack said. “It’s a win-win for everybody.”

Janet Urquhart’s e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com.

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