Westy’s keeps Christmas dinner tradition going for 16th year

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Christmas for many is all about giving, and at Westy's restaurant in the Pinch District, they want the community to know their gift will always keep giving, despite how long the line gets.

The restaurant hosted its 16th annual Christmas Dinner on Wednesday. Owner Jake Schorr says at 78 years old, he doesn't plan to stop serving those in need any time soon.

"We always prepare more food than people come. We will not run out," Schorr said.

With enough food to feed over a thousand people, Schorr says no one is turned away.

Whether you're young or old, homeless or just looking for a good meal, he says on Christmas, he wants everyone to feel like a regular customer.

"I don't think most of them are used to being waited on," Schorr said of his visitors. "And it's good to treat them right. We're all human and we all need to share with what we have."

Emerson Owens said he came from Frayser and this was his first time spending Christmas at Westy's.

"This is great, to have a place where people can come out, have a good meal, have a good day,  meet old friends and family and just relax," he said.

Schorr says most of the food is either bought or donated and many of the servers are volunteers.

He said there are no rules, just filled stomachs — a gift many say they can appreciate.

"We're living in a time now where a lot of people are basically afraid of people. But, people have to understand there's love in the world," Schorr said.

The dinner is a collaboration between Westy's restaurant, Lindenwood Christian Church and the BBQ Relief Network. Westys is open until 3 a.m.

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