Nassau County

LI Residents Celebrate Thanksgiving at Country's Oldest Restaurant

The eatery first opened in 1672

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On a day set aside for turkey, the Milleridge Inn in Nassau County is serving that along with a helping of tradition and charm.

A multitude of diners came to celebrate Thanksgiving at the country's oldest restaurant.

The space, warmed by a log burning fireplace, is filled with people who’ve longed nd are thankful for a a hearty warm meal in a social environment.

“It’s good to get back to normal, get back to the swing of things and be happy with family again," Jackie Vadala said.

Tables are surrounded by festive decorations and history telling the story of the eatery that first opened in 1672.

Among the menu selections, Executive Chef Chris Seidl cooked up "crispy Brussels sprouts, carrots, mashed potatoes, extra butter."

"It just means the world to have everyone come together and be joyful and happy right before the holiday season," Jordan Coene said.

There are close to 200 people working the Thanksgiving holiday -- from kitchen staff to servers.

"Being together, surrounded by people is always good and we need that," server Lexi Rivelli told News 4 New York.

Meanwhile, owner Butch Yamali says he is thrilled to see his place this way, adding that it is the first Thanksgiving in two years that has felt normal.

"It’s an eye opener. What we missed all these years. Two years. Now people are coming out in droves," he said. "[I'm] very happy. People with their families. People coming out from nursing homes again. No better way to do it than Thanksgiving.”

And while employees and diners alike are happy to join in the restaurant's Thanksgiving festivities, Yamali knows this is a day that everyone wants to be with family.

Because of this the last reservation is for 5 p.m. -- so everyone can get home and celebrate Thanksgiving with friends and family.

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