By Michelle Talsma Everson

On Veterans Day, November 11, The Bourbon Cellar will be honoring all of those who have served in the armed forces and first responders by hosting a free day-long buffet.

“Everyone is welcome to come share in this wonderful day of remembering why this country is so great,” says Doug Smith, chef and owner of The Bourbon Cellar. “I know that I’m blessed—I get to do what my passion is each and every day. I want to give back to the community, especially our veterans and first responders, and it is our great customers that allow me to do that.”

After the Veterans Day feast, Smith says that the monthly free buffet in honor of “all those who protect our country” will continue on the third Wednesday of every month. On those days, the buffet will open at 4 p.m., and like a family cook out, everyone is welcome.

“Before COVID-19, we would do this monthly free buffet dinner and feed anywhere from 80 to 1,200 people depending on the day. I’ve been doing this for about five or six years and, as a Navy veteran myself, I just wanted to find a way I could give back.”

The monthly meal is not only a way to give back but to bring the community together. Grand Canyon University hosts the dessert table and French’s Meat Shoppe sponsors the event as well.

“I’d like to invite any and everyone out; this is not about the free meal, it’s about honoring our veterans and first responders,” Smith shares.

With caution surrounding gatherings of any kind, Smith notes that all COVID-19 precautions will be taken during the event. “We will of course follow all COVID-19 guidelines and the event will happen throughout the day, so it will be as socially distant and staggered as possible,” he assures. All restaurant staff will be wearing masks and patrons will be required to do so when not eating and drinking.

For those who wish to support local veterans, donations will be accepted at the November feast and all of the following ones. Donations are given directly to veterans’ causes and the local legion.

“I feel like with everything going on right now it’s great to pause, enjoy a meal, and reflect on how great this country is,” Smith says. “It truly is the land of opportunity; the place where dreams come true. And, that is because of the veterans and first responders.”

The Bourbon Cellar is located at 23623 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale. To learn more about the Veterans Day event, follow The Bourbon Cellar on Facebook or call 480-595-5868.