‘I wanted to do this for so many years’: Diner owner giving free meals back to community for Thanksgiving

A diner owner with locations in Eatontown and Freehold is having the toughest stretch in his two restaurants’ 30-plus year history, but even with all that, he's still planning on giving back Thanksgiving Day and not asking for anything in return.

News 12 Staff

Nov 25, 2020, 12:38 PM

Updated 1,298 days ago

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A diner owner with locations in Eatontown and Freehold is having the toughest stretch in his two restaurants’ 30-plus year history, but even with all that, he's still planning on giving back Thanksgiving Day and not asking for anything in return.
Mike Zavolas, who owns the All Seasons Diner, says he has had 33 years of success and eight months of difficulty, but says he will survive the hardship. He will also open his store up Thanksgiving Day to free meals as a way of giving back and saying thank you.
Even though the coronavirus pandemic has reduced his capacity to just 25% following government mandates, his loyal customer base allowed him to keep his doors open. It’s for that reason he says if you want a meal on Thanksgiving, come by – it's on him.
“I wanted to do this for so many years, but it didn't happen,” says Zavolas. “I figured this was the best time to do this because a lot of people I know they suffer, got no money, have no jobs.”
“These people who support the diners, which is a tradition in New Jersey, they gave me a job,” says chef Elias Dimarhos. “So, I have a job. I'm thankful for that, so I think we should give the best we can for them on that day.”
Both Zavolas and Dimarhos came to the United States from Greece when they were just 16 years old, and formed a friendship through the restaurant business.
Thursday's free meals will include a breakfast selection, traditional turkey, Virginia ham, soups, sides, and dessert. 
Social distancing will stay in effect, and because they are only serving indoors, they are limited to the number of people at one time.
Although there is no charge for the meal, they are asking to please tip the server. They'll be serving 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.


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