Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet owner offering free Thanksgiving dinner

By on November 10, 2018

(Courtesy Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet)

Liz Dowless says she has a lot to be thankful for, and she’s planning a big act of kindness to show her gratitude.

Dowless is a founding partner of Jimmy’s Seafood Buffet, which opened in Kitty Hawk in 1999. She’s operated the popular Outer Banks eatery on her own since her husband Jerry died suddenly in August 2003.

“I’m thankful,” she said. “I have a good business. Last spring, I said I’m going to do it this Thanksgiving.”


“It” is a free Thanksgiving family-style buffet dinner open to anyone who’d like to come.

Jimmy’s is closed for the season, but she’ll open the restaurant from 2-4 p.m. on Thanksgiving day, Nov. 22. She plans to serve a traditional holiday meal — turkey, mashed potatoes, green beans, sweet potato casserole and all the trimmings.

Dowless said she knows a lot of people find themselves alone for the holiday, and others are struggling. Everyone’s welcome.

She plans to rearrange seating into a family-style sit-down dinner, so anyone who’s alone won’t have to be for Thanksgiving.

“We’ll all celebrate together,” she said.


She has no idea how many people will come, or how many turkeys she’ll need, so anyone who would like to attend can call the restaurant and leave a message at 252-261-4973 or send an email through the website here.


  • John

    Thank you! What a beautiful thing to do. I have lived in the Outer Banks for 8 years and have never been to Jimmy’s. When you do reopen for the season I will bring my family for dinner. I love to support good people.

    Wednesday, Nov 14 @ 5:35 pm
  • Donna

    I think Elizabeth is offering this, not only to people in need, but to those who are alone on Thanksgiving. Some are making it sound like those people will be “mooching” if they go and join in this community dinner. I don’t think that is what the sweet lady meant. Knew Jerry and he is missed by many!

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 6:20 pm
  • Candi

    What a great gift to all and for children. Thank you so much. We won’t be there but you will be in our prayers, thank you again

    Thursday, Nov 15 @ 11:17 pm
  • Carol

    Always wanted to volunteer to cook or serve for a community thanksgiving dinner-would be glad to help cook or serve if you need the help.

    Friday, Nov 16 @ 12:19 pm
  • Sarah

    My husband and I love your restaurant and go every time we visit OBX. We love it even more after reading this. We won’t be down next week, but best of luck with this amazing act of kindness. God Bless and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Friday, Nov 16 @ 1:36 pm
  • Billy Daugherty

    Way to keep it classy, Jimmy’s! Love your work.

    Friday, Nov 16 @ 2:41 pm
  • Anonymous

    Jimmys seafood buffet
    Bk shuckers
    Jolly Rogers
    Both are all offering a customer Appreciation/ don’t be alone thanksgiving day meals
    So is liberty church & the eagles club
    AND Roanoke island Christian fellowship is offering a free meal this Sunday TOO

    May God bless each of these families/businesses giving back
    (Remember to tip YOUR servers for not only the service BUT also for working thanksgiving day) <3

    Friday, Nov 16 @ 8:24 pm
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