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Fort Wayne restaurant serves up a traditional holiday meal

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- Thanksgiving Day may have been different this year, but one restaurant in Fort Wayne wanted to support those looking for an easy option.  

AJ’s Bar and Grille opened at noon Thursday and began serving Thanksgiving meals to customers.

Staff members at the restaurant have celebrated Thanksgiving Day for years. This year is different, for obvious reasons. 

Owner Merry Bouza and manager Wendi Plake told Fort Wayne's NBC they didn't want their customers to feel alone. 

"You got a lot of people with no place to go so they come down here and get a nice meal," Bouza said. 

Plake feels the same way. "I think it makes us feel good and proud to have people and they have a place to go and have people to share the day with instead of being alone,” Plake said. “So, I think it's a good opportunity to share a friendship and love with customers.” 

They put turkey, mashed potatoes, and much more on the menu.

For these two Thanksgiving chefs and their team, this day is about building community. 

"I do think that they are very appreciative of us being open,” Bouza said.  

Plake went on to mention, “I feel like we make them welcome here and we enjoy their company and them coming in also." 

One frequent customer talked with Fort Wayne's NBC. He said he left with a full stomach and perhaps, something even more meaningful. 

"It's good, really good.” he said. “So why not come here, watch the football game and have a meal, it's like being at home basically… it means a lot that I got to come here and just like 'hey i'm here with family'. 

Vince Lovergine

Vince Lovergine joined the WPTA team August 2020 as a multimedia journalist.

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