Tullamore restaurants stay open to feed the lonely

‘All the food was donated, the staff volunteered and our families all helped out’

 

Three restaurants in Tullamore, Co Offaly, embraced the concept of Christmas cheer this year staying open over the holiday period to serve food to people alone or in need.

On Christmas Eve the Yaadgar Indian Restaurant provided a free buffet for anyone in need of a meal.

On Christmas Day The Bakehouse restaurant and Café India also opened their doors.

Derek Coyne of The Bakehouse said he and his business partner Declan Gorman and staff were inspired after local politician Ken Smollen asked if he could use the restaurant as a drop off point for goods and packages he was bringing to Dublin for the homeless.

They decided to go one better and to open on Christmas Day offering a full Christmas dinner to any one living on their own, the elderly or anyone going through difficult times.

“All the food was donated, the staff volunteered their time and our families all helped out,” explained Mr Coyne.

“All we did was open the doors,” added Mr Gorman.

“We are overwhelmed by the response. People have been donating food, gifts, toys and one woman even dropped in 25 fully prepared meals.”

At Café India, owner Abdul Hafiz was busy preparing for their guests. “We’ve had lots of phone calls so we are expecting quite a few people for dinner.”

Mr Hafiz said they would be serving Indian food as well as traditional turkey and the trimmings. “The chef kindly offered to cook and my brother and wife will also help.

“We’ve had lots of offers from people to help serving the food, doing dishes and donating toys and gifts.”