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Local restaurants prepare to serve families for Thanksgiving

Restaurants are bracing for heavy takeout business over the Thanksgiving holidays
Posted at 5:21 AM, Nov 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-25 07:39:59-05

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The ongoing pandemic has changed the way how many families across the Coastal Bend will celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday.

“Actually, we’re doing a very small Thanksgiving with family," said Hunter Behanke. "It's very limited for safety reasons."

Due to the global health crisis, Behanke says Thanksgiving is going to look very different this year. His goal is to keep gatherings small and to protect his loved ones, young and elderly.

“I think especially if you have elderly parents, parents that their health is jeopardized you got to look for them and make sure they don’t get sick because it could end up bad,” Behanke said.

Our KRIS 6 news team spoke to Tonya Scholz who lives out of state and says she is staying in Corpus Christi this Thanksgiving holiday.

“My family is in Michigan, and it’s crazy up there right now," Scholz said. "So we thought about going home but my sister is like 'I’m glad you didn’t because it’s…the virus is running rapid up there,'” said Scholz.

With these concerns in mind, businesses and particularly restaurants are getting ready for a busy Thanksgiving.

“We open every year on Thanksgiving lunch because we know there’s a lot of people in the community who don’t have families to go to," said Julian Ottino, owner of Land & Sea Restaurant. "So we open every year because of that."

Ottino, who also owns New York Authentic Pizza, says the building will be closed but Land and Sea will be open to the public on Thanksgiving. Land and Sea will welcome guests for Thanksgiving with a full staff.

“All the product came in yesterday," Ottino said. "Now, we’re having to prepare all that product and get it ready for cooking. It’s going to be a long night tomorrow night."

However, Land & Sea will not be the only business preparing.

In downtown Corpus Christi, House of Rock is keeping a close eye on their to-go and curbside orders which owner Casey Lain says has been a valuable asset since the coronavirus shook city businesses.

The business will not be open on Thanksgiving Day. But for the House of Rock, pizza has been a major attraction for customers. And workers can expect many orders the day before and after Thanksgiving.

“You know pizza has been a very popular take-out item for us which has been fortunate for us and good for our kitchen," Lain said. "So, we’re gearing up and ready to see an influx of people maybe traveling or maybe getting together in gatherings.”