Edgewater's Herb Restaurant gives out free dinners to the community

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It's Friday night and Thai takeout is what's for dinner, but tonight the meal is on the house.

"I have my team working in the kitchen, so at least they have some work to do, and then the community is able to enjoy," said owner Patty Neumson.


Neumson was just giving away her popular Thai dishes to any passing person.

"I feel fortunate," she said. "I feel like I am privileged to be giving to people because some people do not have, they cannot give. But I have and I can give, you know? And my friends who own the restaurants, they can give too."

Indoor dining is back open, but customer flow to tables just isn't what it was. So, Patty voluntarily shut down Herb for a night of community charity for a second weekend. This time she was also able to convince a few other neighborhood spots to join in.

"This time we organized a group, so we do it as a group and we are really happy for what we can do right now. Even though it's tough we're still happy," Neumson said.

"There are a lot of different restaurants, and of course after COVID you always want everything to stay alive, so I feel like it gives a lot of good PR to some restaurants that are tucked away," said Ryan Penna, volunteer.


A waiter himself, Penna is trying to help spread the good word.

"This is the neighborhood I grew up in. it's just kind of nice to be on the street being the actual hands that gives back, more than just an idea," he said.

It won't turn a profit, but in a pandemic, Neumson said that's not really what matters.

"I am losing money, but gain the feeling of good," she said.
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