Owner of Kannapolis sandwich shop reopens against governor’s orders

Owner of Kannapolis sandwich shop reopens against governor's orders

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The owner of a local sandwich shop has reopened his doors against Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order.

Although North Carolina is slated to move into Phase 2 in coming days, the state is still currently under the first phase of the governor’s reopening plan -- meaning indoor dining is prohibited.

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Despite restrictions, Lee’s Sandwich shop on Central Drive was open Wednesday morning.

Although the majority of customers were taking their food to go, some were seen going inside to eat -- and the owner told Channel 9 that’s their choice.

Owner Chic Suggs said people understand the coronavirus is in North Carolina, but he feels they can make the decision whether they feel safe enough to eat inside.

"Come on in and eat, that’s the way I feel,” he said.

When Channel 9′s Susanna Black asked Suggs why he didn’t wait for the governor to life restrictions before reopening his dining room, he said it was because of Atrium Ballpark.

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“Because yesterday I had three different customers standing out here talking about how they couldn’t believe all the people at the stadium over the weekend ... out there eating, drinking beer all over each other,” he said.

The city-owned ballpark, which is home to the Kannapolis Cannonballers, opened up a concession stand for takeout food only last week.

And like in all parks, people can come in and eat in the stands.

A city spokesperson said, “Patrons are not allowed to consume food in the service area but must find other locations in the very large facility for consumption...[this] complies with the Governor’s order and is consistent with its intent.”

“It’s OK to do that, but you can’t go sit down at a restaurant? I don’t get it,” Suggs said.

Suggs’ customers support his decision to reopen the dining room.

“I just had a customer say ‘Can I go in and eat please?’ and I said, ‘Sure go in’ and he just went in and sat down and ate. I don’t have a problem with it, city might, I don’t know, we’ll find out,” he said.

Suggs says he’s adhering to the guidance from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services by not allowing more than 21 people inside and cleaning constantly.

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