Oswego restaurant offers free meals during holiday festival ‘to welcome people to town for Christmas’

Oswego Family Restaurant opened its doors during Friday night’s Christmas Walk in Oswego to offer free sandwiches, dessert and cocoa. (Linda Girardi / The Beacon-News)

Not normally open for dinner, Oswego Family Restaurant opened its doors during Friday night’s Christmas Walk in Oswego to offer a free meal in celebration of the holidays.

The diner offered free in-house smoked pulled pork sandwiches and signature homemade cinnamon rolls as well as hot chocolate and chocolate-covered pretzels during the festival.


It was a gesture of kindness for the holidays by owner Nick Dassis and family. The eatery is normally open 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays. It is closed Mondays.

The Oswego Family Restaurant has not been open during the dinner hours since the pandemic started, so a sandwich and dessert and warm cocoa is a little something probably those new to the village did not expect.


“It’s our way to go above and beyond,” Angela Dassis, daughter of owner Nick Dassis, said.

Her brother Costa Dassis was serving the pulled-pork sandwiches while their mother Demetra Dassis was working the counter with her daughter.

The Dassis family has owned the restaurant for 26 years. Offering a free plate of food is something the restaurant did for employees and the community just after the coronavirus outbreak in the spring of 2020.

The pandemic has caused employee issues for the restaurant just as any other business, he said.

“Normally we would be open for dinner but since COVID, we have been closing at two o’clock,” he said.

Nick Dassis said the eatery originally opened around 1929. Photos of the restaurant in the 1950s are on display in the diner. As for the steady crowds of people who came in for a sandwich and cinnamon roll during the Christmas Walk, “It’s our way to welcome people to town for Christmas,” he said.

Linda Girardi is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.