Free Thanksgiving dinner returns to Michael's restaurant in Rocky River

Free Thanksgiving dinner returns to Michael's restaurant in Rocky River

ROCKY RIVER, OH (WOIO) - Brenda Mangini was thankful for the chance to spend time with her granddaughter on Thursday.

"I was here years and years ago and I'm going through rough times now. I thought this would be the best place to come," said Mangini. "To be able to share a meal with family is more than I could ever ask for."

She's also thankful for Michael's in Rocky River, where a free meal was provided. Without it, Mangini doesn't know what she would have done.

"I'm grateful and very thankful that Michael was able to do this for everybody. I think there's a special place in heaven for him," Mangini said.

"This is a way for me to say thanks to America, thanks to the great people of the Cleveland area for helping me stay in business," said owner Mike Petrakis.

For more than 30 years Michael's has offered a free Thanksgiving dinner, a practice they had to stop in 2009.

"A few years ago when the economy went south, we struggled to pay the bills," Petrakis said.

Now that the economy and business have picked up, so has the free Thanksgiving dinner -- and that's something Mike is thankful for.

"This is the best thing we can do," he said ."We're doing business the rest of the year. One day of the year, I don't see why not to give back to the community."

Download the Cleveland 19 News app

Copyright 2016 WOIO. All rights reserved.