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Meson Sabika is set to open doors for complimentary Thanksgiving dinner


Above / Throughout the years, Meson Sabika has hosted fundraising events inside the historic mansion and on its spacious patio for dozens of nonprofit organizations locally and around the world. 

Hossein Jamali

UPDATE, Nov. 2, 2016 / A limited number of seats remain ready for RSVP. Help spread the word for Thanksgiving!

If you or someone you know needs a caring environment for a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, call (630) 983-3000 x 2 today to make a reservation.  RSVP by Nov. 17, 2016.

Original Post, Sept. 30, 2016 / Since 2001, Meson Sabika has been serving complimentary Thanksgiving dinners to individuals and families in need of a place to celebrate America’s special holiday.

That tradition has continued, and 15 years later Meson Sabika once again will open its doors to as many as 2,000 people looking to share a meal with dignity and compassion, no matter if the need is financial, emotional or friendly fellowship.

Thanksgiving Dinner will be served from 11AM-1:30PM, Thurs., Nov. 24.

Reservations are now being accepted until Nov. 17, 2016.

According to Hossein Jamali, owner of Meson Sabika, over the years the restaurant has welcomed a lot of people with many different challenges on Thanksgiving Day. He’s often said that meeting with the guests always reminds him how much many people take every-day life for granted.

A Special Thanksgiving Dedication

This year’s Thanksgiving Day celebration will be especially meaningful for Jamali because he is dedicating the dinner in memory of his mother. She died last June, the same day he was having his fourth back surgery. He was unable to travel to attend her funeral.

“As a little boy, I remember my mother in the cold winters of Tehran heating water over our wood stove, mixing it with cold, so she could bring it to a temperature that she could tolerate in order to wash our whole family’s laundry,” Jamali recalls. “Then she would break the thick layer of ice on the pond she brought into our house to rinse the soap off.”

Jamali noted laundry was done after his mother spent most of the day going from store to store for groceries—a different one for vegetables, another for bread and one for meat— to prepare meals on the same wood stove.

“Needless to say we could not afford electricity or a gas stove,” he added.

“I am certain that sadly in our country, our community, there are many that experiencing this level of poverty today.

“I met with Ryan Dowd from the Hesed House a few days ago and accordingly they are over the maximum capacity for the homeless families.”

Jamali is hopeful folks will help spread the word about Thanksgiving dinner for families in need at his two restaurants—Meson Sabika in Naperville and Tapas Valencia in Chicago.


Back in 2004, a few familiar folks served as hosts to welcome guests to Meson Sabika! (PN File Photo)

When guests arrive at the restaurant, they receive a warm welcome by a host, are seated, and then are served by staff or volunteers.

Just as any guest any time, the staff offers guests a glass of wine, beer or soft drink. The first course is salad followed by plated turkey dinner with the trimmings, and then pumpkin pie for dessert.

The restaurant uses the same every-day set up that guests find when they enjoy Spanish-style tapas that includes white linen and a beautifully arranged table setting. No reference is made to the table regarding a free meal. Guests are made to feel welcome and appreciated.

Staff & Community Volunteers

The regular staff of the restaurant steps up to volunteer their time to serve the holiday meal while community volunteers make up the rest of the very busy staff that serves the meal that day.

Laura Crawford and then-Mayor George Pradel have been counted among the blessings and volunteers at Meson Sabika on Thanksgiving Day. (PN File Photo)

Meson Sabika receives many requests from people in the community that wish to volunteer; unfortunately, everyone cannot be accommodated.  Typically, the first 50 volunteers who request to participate are selected, giving volunteers who have served in the past first priority.

The guests that typically come for a meal include those that may be financially challenged and/or physically or emotionally challenged. Others are there because they have no one with whom to share the holiday. All the guests are welcomed with a warm smile and a delicious meal.

After all the guests are served, the staff, volunteers and their family are invited to stay and enjoy dinner together.

Reserve now!

RSVP by Nov. 17, 2016, to join Hossein Jamali & others for Thanksgiving at the Mansion!

If you or someone you know needs a caring environment for a Thanksgiving meal with all the trimmings, call (630) 983-3000 x 2 today to make a reservation.  Reservations are required by Nov. 17, 2016.

At the time of this posting, reservations remain available between 11AM and 1:30PM.

Meson Sabika and the Pavilion at Meson Sabika are located at 1025 Aurora Ave. in Naperville.

The same warm welcome and same schedule for Thanksgiving dinner will be provided at Tapas Valencia, located at 1530 S. State Street in Chicago. For reservations in Chicago, call (312) 842-4444.

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PN Editor
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