KALISPELL — If you were looking for a big plate of turkey with all the fixings, Sykes Diner in downtown Kalispell was the place to be on Thanksgiving. A staple in Kalispell, the restaurant has been offering a free turkey meal to local residents every Thanksgiving for more than 40 years.
More than 130 volunteers help put on Thursday's big feast, serving around 1,200 meals on Thanksgiving with dine in, delivery and carry out. Sykes General Manager Pam Haase says the free meal is small way of giving back to the community.
“We’re just hoping to give a little back. We have a great wonderful customer base, they support us through everything and we love to just be able to give back a little,” said Hasse.
Longtime Sykes customer Tom Krause, who has been going to diner since the 1980s, says he loves the generosity the restaurant shows to the community every Thanksgiving.
“I look forward to the ham, the turkey, the stuffing, everything is great, the people. I’m just thankful that I have the shelter, and home and family and people that care about me. It’s a great community and I really look forward to this event every year,” said Krause.
Haase says you’d be hard pressed to find a tastier Thanksgiving meal in the Flathead Valley, "traditional Thanksgiving, ham, turkey, stuffing, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes and gravy, rolls and pumpkin pie."