On Christmas Day, a Sunday this year when almost every other place will be closed, the Patti-O Grill in Clover will be open.
The kitchen will be buzzing with carvers, the tables filled with the hungry. But nobody serving food in the restaurant will be bringing any check to any table.
Everything on Christmas Day at Patti-O Grill is free.
All the ham and turkey.
All the fixings.
All the presents.
And most of all – all the love.
All of it, given away, to those in Clover and western York County who otherwise might not have a Christmas.
“We can, so we do,” said Patti Imler, owner of the restaurant. “There are people in our community who are in need. They might be in need of a hot meal, or presents for kids, or even just company and love. We give them all of it.”
The restaurant on Old North Main Street has been a community staple for almost a dozen years. For the past decade, Imler has – through contacts with social service workers, police officers and other customers – delivered hundreds of presents for children. Then six years ago, the restaurant started cooking and delivering meals to some of those families, as well as seniors who are in need and more.
The first year about 30 meals were served. Last year, almost 170 meals were served. This year, organizers expect at least 200 or more.
The need is out there, Imler said, if people choose to see it.
“We had a family last year that had no electricity in the home, let alone no food and presents,” Imler said.
Through donations after seeing such a huge need Imler and her volunteers were able to get the electricity turned on, a refrigerator and heating materials delivered, and more. People were helped. Children.
And it all started with Christmas.
Christmas Day at Patti-O Grill features dozens of volunteers who are employees, customers, vendors, family and friends.
Food that was donated is cooked in the morning and delivered or served right there in the restaurant. A small army of “elves” wrap toys, deliver meals and presents – whatever needs to get done.
The restaurant doors are thrown open to welcome anyone who might be alone on Christmas, too.
“If someone has lost a spouse, and the holiday is a lonesome lonely time, we want that person to come here and share in the joy that is Christmas,” Imler said.
Doors open around noon and will stay open through the late afternoon. There is a guest list. It has just one name on it.
For more information
Christmas Day meal and gifts for the needy at Patti-O Grill, 1007 Old North Main St., Clover, runs from noon to late afternoon. To volunteer, donate, or if you know of someone who needs help for Christmas, call 803-222-4467 or visit pattiogrill.com