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Charlotte restaurant that feeds the needy to close on Thanksgiving for first time since 2005

In 2020, restaurant staff gave away more than 3,000 boxes of turkey dinners with all the trimmings and iced tea.
Skyland Restaurant on South Boulevard. (Credit: Jeff Willhelm | The Charlotte Observer)
Skyland Restaurant on South Boulevard. (Credit: Jeff Willhelm | The Charlotte Observer)
Published: Nov. 17, 2021 at 12:49 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 17, 2021 at 12:50 PM EST
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – A popular Charlotte restaurant will close its doors on Thanksgiving Day for the first time in over 15 years.

“With deep regret,” the owners of Skyland Family Restaurant, located five minutes from uptown Charlotte on South Boulevard, announced that they will be closed on Thanksgiving for the first time since 2005.

“It was a difficult decision, however the impact of COVID and the labor shortage played a major role in our decision,” owner Jimmy Kakavitsas said.

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For 16 years, Skyland Restaurant fed the homeless, poor, travelers, stranded individuals, and “everyone in need for a homemade meal on Thanksgiving Day” free of charge, he said.

In 2020, restaurant staff gave away more than 3,000 boxes of turkey dinners with all the trimmings and iced tea, a release stated.

“Many businesses have suffered a tremendous loss this year,” Kakavitsas said. “Skyland Restaurant, a small family-owned and operated restaurant, has struggled like other families and businesses during another difficult year.”

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