YAKIMA, Wash. -- For the folks at Little Dutch Inn, it’s all about giving back.
Every Thanksgiving for the past several years, the North Sixth Avenue bar has welcomed customers with a full holiday meal and all the trimmings. The menu — prepared by iconic Yakima Valley chef Herb Adkins — has everything anyone could possibly want on their plates. And shortly before noon, Adkins was out lighting wicks below a line of chafing dishes in preparation for the crowd trickling inside.
“I enjoy it,” Adkins said with a pleasant smile. “And I do it ’cause I’m good at it, and I’ve been doin’ it for about 40 years.”
Nine of those years have been in the kitchen at The Dutch, owner Jim Weaver’s fond name for the popular 21-and-over bar that consistently brings in a regular crowd 365 days of the year, along with new faces who hear about the great food and drinks, the staff and the pleasant atmosphere where everyone is welcome.
“Herb’s an amazing chef,” Weaver said as he made sure all the televisions were set to football and widely smiling guests untwisted their scarves as they came in from late Thursday morning’s foggy cold.
“We do this every Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Adkins said. “Jim — he likes to give back.”
The chef said he’d prepared enough to feed anywhere from 100 to 150 people throughout the day, and he’s planning to do the same thing in just over a month when Christmas rolls around.
Giving back at Little Dutch Inn isn’t limited only to national holidays.
At 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 8, the bar will host its annual fundraiser for Rod’s House, the resource center dedicated to providing support for young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability.
Tickets are $45 and all proceeds raised during the event will benefit the Yakima-based charity. Adkins plans to roast two pigs — about 65 to 80 pounds each, he said — for the luau, which will include other Hawaiian-style dishes.
They’ll also have a silent auction featuring a variety of donated items and a live auction following the spectacular feast. Seating is open, but staff at The Dutch said they’ll do everything to make sure everyone attending will be able to sit together. It’s just another way the bartenders and servers are on top of their game to ensure they’re giving their customers the best possible experience every time they come through the door.
Weaver also has plans for a crab feed this spring to benefit the Pegasus Project.
With so many fundraisers, as well as the free holiday dinners at a spot that’s known for just being a great place to hang out otherwise, it’s easy to understand why so many keep coming back and sing praises of their experiences every time they do.