Soul food restaurant A&I’s Chicken Shack announced on Facebook Sunday morning that it will be closed after receiving a racist, threatening letter in its mailbox last week.
The reason? The Siler City restaurant ran out of food.
“Today, August 11, 2019, we will be closed due to the overwhelming support of the community and even those who drove miles away just to come support us,” Sunday morning’s post read. “We ran out of food last night, and we apologize to all of our customers and thank you for coming out.”
On Aug. 7, the restaurant published the letter it received that was signed with the moniker “White Nationalists” on Facebook. The letter is riddled with racial epithets and ends with a threat: “We are doing all we can to Make America Great again (sic) and when we re-elect our president it will be an all-out war against (expletive) like you,” it read. “YOU WILL NOT MAKE IT HERE leave town or we will help you (sic).”
The restaurant notified the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office immediately, and deputies are still investigating the incident as a possible hate crime, according to The News & Observer’s media partner, ABC 11.
A&I’s Chicken Shack has been open for just over two weeks and is located just off of U.S. 421 North, about 50 miles west of Raleigh.
The night of initially posting the letter to Facebook, store owner Andre Chaney expressed his sadness and frustration for those who insinuated that the letter was a ploy to get attention.
“I read through comment after comment and you get those that try to question everything that is put in front of them, and for us, it hurts because the situation hurt us,” the post, on Aug. 7 at 11:32 p.m., read..
Since then, individuals have taken to Facebook to show their support. The West Chatham NAACP chapter posted a screenshot of the letter. And then, after a busy Saturday night, A&I’s Chicken Shack ran out of food.
“We really appreciate all the words of encouragement and a big thanks to the Siler City community, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Department and the local chapter of the NAACP...” Sunday morning’s post read.
The restaurant plans to reopen on Tuesday at 11 a.m. and return to its regular hours next week.