Oriental restaurant attempts to re-open

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Brantley Norman, Jr.

ORIENTAL – When you say a prayer for the return of Freedom in our country, be sure to include blessings for Oriental restaurant owner, Brantley Norman. Jr.

A Highway Patrol car was positioned across Broad Street from the restaurant

Thursday, Norman attempted to re-open his popular restaurant, only to be shut down by local authorities after having served breakfast and lunch to dozens of appreciative patrons – most of whom were practicing ‘social distancing.’

Embracing principals envisioned by our Founding Fathers, Mr. Norman defied an Executive Order promulgated more than six weeks ago by Gov. Roy Cooper. In an exclusive interview with this newspaper – conducted immediately after being served notice of the violation – Norman said he hopes his efforts Thursday will help restaurants across the state free themselves from edicts that are no longer necessary.

I want to thank the police in this town who administer the law with a reasonable voice and a reasonable mind. We’re very, very fortunate to have Nick Blaney and Bill Wichrowski as our two police officers.

Bill does have a boss, and a chain of command, and he acted today in a timely manner.

In no way shape or form should any of the blame for this fall on him.

I agreed with the restrictions early on, and I felt like they were necessary. However, now I think America’s ready to go back to work. Today we served from a buffet, and we did it ourselves, using gloves and masks.

A police officer with the Town of Oriental arrived shortly before 2 pm

We had cancer patients here today, some of them on chemo. And, many of our customers were seniors.

We all love living here for a reason – because we all love country living. I did this today because people need freedom of choice. In the history of this great country, sick people have always stayed home from work, and it is healthy people who go to work. It has always been that way up until now.

The mainstream, major media on TV is keeping this stirred up – but we should not be like sheep and allow it. The sky is not falling. It is amazing to me how easily people are led. The mainstream media! They are absolutely loving this! You and I can’t get a haircut, but have you noticed how the media are meticulously groomed every night on TV? Funny, isn’t it?

Obviously now we are back to doing only take out. And, our customers have been incredibly generous. My hat is off to them. My dad always said that when the girls (waitresses) do good, then we will do good. Well, for first time in the 41 year history of this restaurant that is not the case for us right now.”

I turn the key every day knowing that I am going to lose money.”

Brantley’s Village Restaurant is a legend in the Town of Oriental. Norman took over reins of the business after his father passed away several years ago. His mother Sylvia (best known for Ms. Sil’s Famous Pies) remains active with day-to-day duties. Norman, his two children, his sisters, niece, and other long-term staffers have been adversely affected by the closure.

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