Giancarlo and Josephine Costa, owners of La Viola Restaurant, located at 41 Jackson Avenue in Syosset, will continue their tradition this year and close their Italian restaurant to the public on Thanksgiving Day.
For the eighth year, La Viola will open its doors from 11:30 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. serving only needy residents a free Thanksgiving dinner. Many local organizations and churches send people to the restaurant, which expects over 200 people, if this year follows in the tradition of years past.
The Costa's provide the restaurant and a majority of the food that is served on Thursday and the rest is donated by different suppliers that deliver food to the restaurant. The meat supplier this year donated some turkeys for the restaurant's charitable dinner. Workers are not required to work, but most volunteer their time anyway. They are also joined by regular customers who come in and volunteer their time to serve the residents.
La Viola also delivers dinner on Thanksgiving to those who are unable to leave their home or are ill. The local churches send a notice to residents who are sick and makes them aware of the restaurant's free Thanksgiving dinner offer. Anyone who qualifies and is interested, just calls La Viola on Thanksgiving and will have a hot meal delivered to their home by one of the volunteers
Rather than make a profit on Thanksgiving, Giancarlo and Josephine Costa just appreciate the true meaning of the holiday. "We like to give something back to the community and do something nice for them," said Giancarlo Costa.