In the wake of a disastrous series of earthquakes and a tsunami in Japan, in Half Moon Bay hosted a dine-in Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund Drive on Friday.
The restaurant will give 20 percent of all dine-in profits from Friday to the American National Red Cross Relief Fund for Japan.
Sam's also encouraged patrons to donate to the fund on top of their bill. For every amount donated, Sam's patrons received 50 percent of the donation value in gift certificates to the restaurant.
Co-owner Julie Shenkman said that one of the reasons Sam's Chowder House decided to host such a benefit is because they feel compelled as Coastsiders to give back to another coastal community hit by the devastation of a tsunami.
"We live on the Coastside, look out at that beach everyday and just can't imagine," said Shenkman. "The events that happened in Japan were devastating."
Sam's Chowder House often gives back to the local community through charitable donations or events similar to the relief fund drive for Japan. An event called Sam's Lobsterfest will be held in May to benefit the Coastside Fireworks Fund.
Like all of these events, the Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund Drive relies on turnout from the community to spend their dollars locally and for a cause.
"We're hoping the community will rally behind it," Shenkman said.
By 1 p.m., Sam's Chowder House had already seated 340 parties for lunch and more were still filing in to make table reservations.
Employee Kelly Buckley was making reservations for most of those patrons during lunch service and was enthusiastic about the event turnout.
"I'm excited for it," said Buckley. "A lot of people are coming out."
While heading into the restaurant to make a table reservation, one diner said, "We just came here to eat."
She had not heard about the event but thought that donating to Japan relief efforts while dining was "pretty cool."