For Evan Glusman, one of the owners of the family-operated Piero’s Italian Cuisine restaurant on Convention Center Drive, Thanksgiving is all about giving back to the community.
The Glusman family, who have been running the establishment since 1982, kicked off its first-ever Turkey Gobble 29 years ago, and this year they estimate they fed about 500 families with kids.
Members of the community can come in and get fresh bread, drinks, an entree that includes roasted turkey, gravy and mashed potatoes and of course, dessert which includes pumpkin pie. Glusman said it’s amazing to see people coming back, and they treat the people who come to the Turkey Gobble like they treat their customers.
“And we treat our customers like family,” he said. “That’s always the way we’ve operated and that’s what makes Piero’s what it is, is that customer service.”
The US Department of Agriculture estimates that more than 44 million Americans struggle to get enough food to feed everyone in their household, and those families include more than 13 million children who experience food security.
In Clark County, food security issues have fallen over the past few years, but Glusman said this is more than simply giving people a free meal on a holiday, it’s about helping the community feel like they are a part of something bigger.
“We have a great platform here and the food that I get from my vendors is the best, and so we can also offer them high-class service too, so it really helps them have a good day and experience here.”
Piero’s employees, from servers and bartenders to hostesses, were also out in force volunteering their time along with some of their kids, and also members of the community came to help out as well. H. Waldman, who volunteered with his daughter Niah and two of her friends, said they came to volunteer because it’s an important day to remember that people are all part of the same community.
“The experience has been amazing,” said Niah, “and I’m thankful for all my friends and family.”
Betty Williamson, who came with her son Jericho, and Bethany Labrum, who came with her son Kash, said this is their first time at the Turkey Gobble but the experience was heartwarming and felt genuine.
“It didn’t feel like ‘Hey hold out your tin can’, it felt like we were just going to a restaurant for a meal,” said Williamson. “We’re very thankful for that feeling today especially.”
Saleh Shemess, who came with his wife Fatima and their two daughters, Sarah and Sofia, said they are incredibly grateful they can come have a full meal in the Thanksgiving spirit.
“The food was excellent,” said Saleh, “and also the service was awesome too, that makes it that much more special of a feeling.”
Piero’s also helps support local charities via the event including the Patrick Kelly Youth Foundation, Youth Charities of Southern Nevada, the Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and the Boys & Girls Club of Southern Nevada.
Over the year, Glusman estimates they’ve served at least 20,000 meals since they started, sans a few years off through COVID, and he added every year they hope to continue the tradition of giving back on Thanksgiving.
“I think we do a good job at the restaurant and with this event, because we do it out of gratitude, and that’s the goal.”
Contact Patrick Blennerhassett at firstname.lastname@example.org.