When Gov. Pat McCrory defended House Bill 2 on NBC’s Meet The Press, he told a story about a recent lunch stop where he met supporters of the bill.
“I was in Hamlet, North Carolina, a small town that could be any town in the United States of America,” McCrory told Meet The Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday. “I walked into a buffet restaurant – an African-American buffet restaurant – and the people just welcomed me with open arms and said ‘thank you for protecting us.’”
The governor didn’t mention the name of the eatery, but the lunchtime stop took place last week at Jones on Main: The Country Kitchen. Owner Yvette Jones confirmed McCrory’s account of the visit and said he “ate well.”
Her customers “did talk to him about it,” she said of House Bill 2. “They wanted to be protected. That’s about it.”
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McCrory’s description of Jones on Main as an “African-American buffet restaurant” prompted some on social media to question what the phrase meant.
“It’s black-owned,” Jones said of her restaurant. “But the majority of (customers) are caucasian.”
Jones, who is also a pastor, said she didn’t know in advance that the governor would be visiting.
“Your gift will make room for you and bring you before great men,” she posted on Facebook with a picture of McCrory. “He said he was gonna promote us...the business!!! May God be the glory!!!!”
McCrory said his stop in Hamlet “showed me the disconnect we have between the corporate suites and Main Street on a very complex subject, and a very personal subject.”