Viral Story from Pigeon Forge: Old Mill Restaurant Manager Helps Hurricane Evacuees

View of the Old Mill Restaurant across the pond in Pigeon Forge

A heartwarming story from Pigeon Forge, TN is going viral on social media! On Monday, Deanna Feist wrote a post on Facebook about the unexpected kindness the general manager at The Old Mill Restaurant showed her and her husband when their car broke down at the popular eatery. Deanna’s post has since been liked and shared over 33,000 times, attracting the attention of newspapers and TV stations. Read on to hear about the act of generosity that meant so much to these two Hurricane Irma evacuees.

A Honeymoon and a Hurricane

Benjamin and Deanna Feist had just gotten married when Hurricane Irma reared its ugly head in their hometown of Brandon, FL, a suburb of Tampa Bay. Given the dire weather forecast, the newlyweds decided to extend their honeymoon in Pigeon Forge in order to wait out the storm. Although they were preoccupied with how their friends and family were faring back home, Benjamin and Deanna were still able to enjoy their time in the Smokies.

Beautiful photo of The Old Mill in Pigeon Forge.Car Trouble and a Random Act of Kindness

While the Feists were lucky enough to avoid Hurricane Irma, it looked like their good fortune had run out when their car failed to start in The Old Mill’s parking lot right before lunch. In search of help, Deanna and Benjamin asked the man in the car next to them for a jump. Although they didn’t know it at the time, the couple could not have picked a better person to ask for assistance!

The friendly stranger happily helped the Feists jump their car. When the couple walked into The Old Mill to put their names on the waitlist, the man from the parking lot reappeared and revealed that he is the general manager of the restaurant. Mo Tamaddoni, the manager, made sure that Deanna and Benjamin were seated right away.

The Feists enjoyed a delicious lunch at The Old Mill and their orders came out even faster than expected. At the end of their meal, their waitress informed the couple that their food was on the house and handed them an envelope from the manager. Inside the envelope, Deanna and Benjamin found a voucher for two free meals, $200 in cash, and a handwritten letter.

Mo’s Letter to the Feists

Deanna included the full text of Mo’s letter in her Facebook post. We have reprinted it here:

“Hello,

You are probably here to escape the Hurricane Irma. My brother lives in Tallahassee, FL. I am saddened to see such devastation in that beautiful state. I hope everything will turn out OK for you guys.

Enclosed please accept my gift to you in case you need to buy a battery for your car. Also I am enclosing a meal ticket so you can come back to eat here.

Good luck & Thanks for visiting my restaurant
Mo Tamaddoni
General Manager.”

You can read Deanna’s complete account of the story in her original Facebook post:

Watch an Interview with Mo and Deanna

After this touching story became a viral sensation on Facebook, local TV station WATE interviewed Mo and Deanna for the nightly news. You can watch the video below:

Here at Visit My Smokies, we would like to commend Mo Tamaddoni and all of the other East Tennesseans who have shown such generosity to the hundreds of Hurricane Irma evacuees in our state. It is stories like these that make us so proud to live in the Smoky Mountains!

If you would like to learn more about The Old Mill Restaurant, check out our Guide to The Old Mill’s Menu and Favorite Recipes!

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