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A spirit of giving

Editorial for Nov. 10, 2005

We've heard of giving back to the community, but a new restaurant in downtown Bingen seems to be setting the pace.

Viento, which opened in July, is a classy place with an appreciated focus on Gorge-grown and Gorge-produced foods and wines.

With Thanksgiving approaching, the restaurant's owners -- Stu and Kathy Watson -- have announced plans for a community feast.

On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, the restaurant intends to provide a free turkey day dinner to any and all who choose to show up. From noon until 5 p.m. that day, the restaurant (with contributions from the vendors who supply it) will serve a Thanksgiving meal to anyone who comes through the door ... at least until the food runs out. That's generous.

"We know that a lot of our neighbors are struggling," explained Stu Watson in a written statement. "Dining out is pretty low on their list of priorities when just paying the rent and getting enough to eat are daily challenges ... At noon, we'll open the doors and start serving. We'll dish it up until 5 p.m., or when we run out, whichever comes first."

The Watsons, who live in Hood River, said the idea is simple: They want to host this event as a way to thank the community for its support.

However you cut it, this gracious move represents the ultimate in a business giving back to the community. A day of giving thanks, indeed.



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