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Thanksgiving eve: A night for family, fun (and to let others cook)

Many head out, go downtown - or order in

People travel downtown before...

BEND, Ore. - It's that wonderful time of the year when family and friends travel into town to gather around a Thanksgiving meal, but that's not until Thursday. Quite a few people went out to dinner Wednesday night. 

Jeff Hakala, 10 Barrel Brewing's general manger, said the night before Thanksgiving can get busy. He said most of the customers are in large groups. 

"It's definitely the people that come rolling into town, ready to just gear up, but not ready to start cooking yet," Hakala said. "So they come and grab a beer, some time to spend with each other before the grind starts on cooking Thanksgiving (dinner)."

He said the company has to be on top of staffing to make sure there are enough people to handle the crowd. 

The downtown Deschutes Brewery Pub was also busy, but they said Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving are the really crazy time. Wait time during Wednesday's busiest time reached about an hour. 

"It will be, maybe not double a regular Wednesday night this time of the year, but close to double," said General Manager Tim Casinelli. "There's extra prep work, extra food, and then there's extra staffing."

It seemed to be a reoccurring theme in busy downtown Bend, and Pizza Mondo was no exception. The restaurant also felt the Thanksgiving eve rush, but not necessarily within the building itself. 

"During the holidays, it's a lot of deliveries," said Manager Steve Smith. "A lot of people aren't wanting to make a bunch of food before Thanksgiving, so they're ordering pizzas and deliveries."

Regardless of the crowds, each restaurant said it was excited and prepared for the rush. 

However, with large crowds comes an increased risk for accidents. Deschutes County Sheriff, Sgt. William Bailey, said three adults were booked into the jail on DUII charges during the four-day weekend last year. Deputies were dispatched to nine drunk-driving driving calls at the same time. 


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