Harbor Docks continues to serve up Thanksgiving meals to the community despite COVID

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

If they could find a way to make it happen, they would — and they did.

Harbor Docks Restaurant will continue its tradition of serving up a Thanksgiving meal to the community, just differently.

For the past 25 years, Harbor Docks in downtown Destin has opened its doors on Thanksgiving Day to serve turkey and dressing with all the trimmings to anyone who entered.

Related:Nov. 2018 - Thanksgiving at Harbor Docks

However, like everything else in 2020, Thanksgiving will look a bit different at Harbor Docks this year.

Bryce Moystner hands bagged lunches to a visitor at the American Lunch food truck in front of Harbor Docks restaurant in Destin earlier this year.

"We waited as long as we could to make a decision, and we just felt like doing takeout was the right decision, giving everything that is going on with the virus," said owner Eddie Morgan.

More:2015: Harbor Docks Thanksgiving

So on Nov. 26 from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., folks can drive by Harbor Docks and pick up a Thanksgiving meal.

"People won't even have to get out of their cars," Morgan said.

Harbor Docks will have its American Lunch truck in the parking lot and will pass out traditional Thanksgiving meals.

Food is served on Thanksgiving at Harbor Docks in 2018. This year's meal will be served using a to-go service in the parking lot due to COVID-19 concerns.

Included will be roast turkey with gravy, cornbread dressing, potato casserole, green beans, a roll and dessert.

More:March 2020 - American Lunch truck makes rounds with free lunches during COVID

The meals are offered at no cost.

"We accept donations for Habitat Humanity and Destin Harvest, but they are certainly not required," Morgan said.

Last year, Harbor Docks served about 2,000 people on Thanksgiving Day.

But that wouldn't be possible with the virus lingering, Morgan said.

Bronson Sands hands a bagged lunch to 3-year-old Mason Harris as he and his father, Sam, visit the American Lunch food truck in front of Harbor Docks restaurant in Destin earlier this year.

"When Gov. DeSantis reopened Florida to 100 percent, we only went back to about 60 percent. So to do what we've always done with Thanksgiving and do it at 60 percent, it wouldn't be possible. The line would be too long, there would just be no way to actually do it, much less do it in a safe environment," he said.

More (2018):PHOTOS: Harbor Docks Thanksgiving Dinner

Morgan said he's not just responsible for the guests who come in, but the many volunteers who help to make the day happen.

"It was a risk we just couldn't take," he said.

So Harbor Docks is offering Thanksgiving for the 26th year via a drive-thru.

"We weren't going to cancel if there was any way not to, and we found a way not to," Morgan said.