Hickory House to provide plenty on Thanksgiving | AspenTimes.com

Hickory House to provide plenty on Thanksgiving

Naomi Havlen
Aspen Times Staff Writer

Aspen’s Hickory House measures its Thanksgiving Day success in the number of turkeys gobbled.

But beating last year’s record of 65 turkeys consumed should be a challenge.

The town’s only location for barbecue fare will once again offer up a free Thanksgiving Day dinner for the community, with donations benefiting the Buddy Program.

“My brother Paul, who owns the restaurant with me, and I really believe in the [Buddy Program] ? we like what they’re doing, and this isn’t a great time for them because they don’t have a lot of funding,” said Hickory House co-owner Brian Dioguardi.

The Dioguardi brothers have owned the Hickory House for five years, but they say the tradition probably extends back 15 or 20 years, starting with original owner Bill Stone.

“The owner we bought this from told us about the tradition and said we didn’t have to do it, but who wants to stop a tradition like that?” Dioguardi said. “It’s fun ? we have a great time.”

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The Hickory House requests a $5 donation from each person who takes advantage of the traditional turkey dinner starting at 1 p.m. on Thursday. Stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, cranberries, bread, pie and cookies are also on the menu.

Much of the food and work put into the dinner is donated as a community effort, Dioguardi said. The building’s landlord, Tong Luu, donates the majority of the turkeys every year, and Paradise Bakery donates cookies for dessert. Main Street Bakery donates the bread for the occasion, and the Hickory House staff donates their own time on the holiday to help other community volunteers serve the dinner.

“The donations get better every year ? last year we made almost $4,000,” Dioguardi said. The tradition has benefited the Buddy Program for the past two years. “This has really taken on a life of its own ? people started calling last month to make sure we were doing it this year.”

Anyone interested in donating turkeys for this year’s dinner can call Dioguardi at the Hickory House at 920-2313. Volunteers for the event are being coordinated by The Buddy Program. To volunteer call Michaela at 920-2130.

[Naomi Havlen’s e-mail address is nhavlen@aspentimes.com]

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