Blountstown restaurant holds community Thanksgiving one year after serving Thanksgiving meals in Mexico Beach

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BLOUNTSTOWN, Fla. — A Blountstown restaurant shared their Thanksgiving meal with the community on Thursday, one year after doing the same thing in Mexico beach after Hurricane Michael. 

“It’s what Thanksgiving’s about,” said Matthias Schmarje, owner of SandBar and Grille, who opened their doors to the community on Thanksgiving for free food and fellowship. “It’s just feeding the people who may not have somewhere to go, may not have anything to eat at home, may not have anyone to sit with so they can come sit with us.”

Schmarje and his family run the place.

After Hurricane Michael last year, SandBar served thanksgiving dinner to residents in Mexico Beach. 

“This is our community and we have to take care of each other,” said Schmarje. “You do what you can, when you can.”

This year, they did it again at home.

“We’ve been able to feed a lot of people that were without,” said Jessica Hopkins, a family friend of the Schmarjes’. “Just to have somebody to be around if they didn’t have any family here.”

Anyone and everyone who came to dine was treated like family.

“We’re more closer now than we’ve ever been,” said Jerome Houston, a resident who came to take part in the buffet that had been laid out, which was contributed to by the community.

“It was fun, especially to see the people come out and be able to leave so full,” said Jae House, a volunteer at the event. “Not only full on the food but them also being thankful.”

According to Schmarje, there’s always room at the table. 

“This is home,” he said. “Everybody should feel like they’re at home here. It’s all love. It’s always about love.”

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