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An Open Invitation To Enjoy Thanksgiving With New Friends

Published: November 21, 2017 at 12:00 am


Murphy's Pub, within Ricky's Shopping Center at 71 South Main Street, will be hosting a free Thanksgiving buffet dinner on Thursday, November 23, from 1 to 9 pm. The only thing guests need to bring with them is an appetite.

Pub owner Mark Murphy is facing his first Thanksgiving without his brother Rich, and did not want to be alone this year.

"I normally spend Thanksgiving with my brother, and since his passing a couple of weeks ago, I was going to be spending the day pretty much alone," he said Tuesday morning. "And then I thought, 'No, there's got to be more to this day than being alone.'

"I figured there would be other people out there who were lonely," he added. "And, just because we're in Newtown, it doesn't mean everybody's got money falling out of their pockets."

The menu at Murphy's will be fairly traditional - turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes and marshmallows, broccoli-cheddar casserole, butternut squash, corn, green bean casserole, green beans, and "all kinds of pies," according to Mr Murphy - along with a few non-conventional dishes such as baked ziti and a few spiral hams.

An open invite has been issued to "friends and neighbors who may be down on their luck, anyone just feeling lonely, or those who may not have family to celebrate with," according to a post on the pub's Facebook page.

Mr Murphy stopped in at Newtown Police Department this week to extend an invitation for anyone who will be working on the holiday, he said.

"I know some of those guys live out of town, and they may not be having a family to get to, so they've been invited too," he said Tuesday morning. Mr Murphy is also planning to contact the town's fire companies, he said. "They're also welcome to come get a nice hot meal."

A Newtown native - "I grew up among all my friends on Paugussett Road," Mr Murphy said - who moved to Florida in his teens, and then moved back to the area a few years ago, Mr Murphy is now looking forward to the approaching holiday.

"All my fondest memories are here in Newtown," he said. "God has been so good to me, and the town of Newtown has been good to me my whole life.

"I just want to give back something."

As of Tuesday morning, Mr Murphy said he had nearly 20 people who were planning on join him for dinner.

For those who want to do something to show their thanks to Mr Murphy and the pub, a toy drive is ongoing for the next few weeks.

"I don't want to see any children without toys," said Mr Murphy, who will have a collection box in place through December 9. "So we're doing a toy drive. I'll have a bucket at the buffet, for that. There will be some people here who want to donate, and that's fine."

A member of The Doug Wahlberg Band, according to Mr Murphy, will be collecting all of the toys at the restaurant following the band's December 9 show, and then delivering them to the Toys For Tots regional location in Ridgefield.

Those who would like to stop by the restaurant for the buffet dinner are asked to call ahead, just to make sure there is enough food for everyone. The pub can be reached at 203-270-1800.


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