Sons of Confederate Veterans kicked out of the Forks Cafeteria

The Forks Cafeteria in downtown Wake Forest. WSJPHOTO | JAY LAMM

By JAY LAMM | editor@wsj30.com

The local Sons of Confederate Veterans has been kicked out of Forks Cafeteria because of customer complaints about Confederate symbols visible during meetings.

The group has been meeting at the downtown Wake Forest iconic restaurant off Brooks Street for the last 28 years. The group was notified by phone Wednesday night by David Greenwell, owner of the Forks Cafeteria. 

Greenwell said Friday that he understands the position of the group, but he did what is best for his business in a progressive time in history.

Frank Powell, former commander of 47th Regiment NC Troops Camp 166, a chapter of the SCV, received the phone call from Greenwell.

“The call was out of the blue. Unexpected. We were shocked and upset,” Powell said. “We have been meeting there for 28 years. We started when the restaurant was in the old Seminary cafeteria on the Seminary campus. He said he had received complaints and he didn’t want us meeting in his restaurant. His tone sounded as if he was mad at me, tense.” 

Powell said his group met in a private room and disturbed no one. A Confederate battle flag was on display in the room during the meeting. Powell said it couldn’t be seen from outside of the room. 

“We meet the first Thursday of every month. We have about 50 members, but we average about 25 at a meeting — young and old,” said Powell. “The owner doesn’t know what we do at our meetings. He’s hardly ever around when we are there.”

Greenwell said he didn’t make the decision hastily.

“I have never had any problem with the group at all. They were always nice and friendly,” said Greenwell. “People started to complain. There was a placard in an easel the nights of the meeting that displayed Confederate symbolism. It could be seen from the cash register station, and it upset some customers.”

Powell said Greenwell never asked him to remove the flags or signage. 

“Our meetings usually feature a historical program and the speaker will sometimes bring artifacts. This has never been a problem,” said Powell. 

“The Confederate Battle Flag represents hate and racism in this country, at this time. I just couldn’t have a group with that symbolism in my business anymore,” said Greenwell. 

“None of us will ever eat at The Forks again, said Powell. “We have received much support in such a short time. So far about 100 people have said they will not eat there again”

Greenwell said he has learned a lot about some of his customers and people in the community since he made the decision to not allow the Sons of Confederate Veterans to meet in his business.He said he realizes he might lose customers. 

“I have received calls, messages from people who say they will no longer support my business.  You never know about some people, friends, you thought, but I do now,” he said.

Powell said his group is not a hate group but a group preserving heritage and making a difference in the community. 

“We have a section of US-1 for the Adopt-a-Highway program we keep clean. We participate in the Wake Forest Cemetery Walking Tour every year. We have supported the Wake Forest Purple Heart Banquet for the last five or six years with a financial donation and buying tickets to attend the event. We’re a member of the Wake Forest Community Council for the last few years, and I’m serving as treasurer this year. We support Tri-Area Ministries with donations every month,” Powell said.

The organization also marched in the Wake Forest Christmas Parade for 26 years before it was cancelled in 2019.  The parade was cancelled due to threats of protest and violence because of the same Confederate group’s intended participation.

“We are misunderstood. No one knows what history is anymore. We feel we are a victim of pure discrimination,” Powell said, adding that the group has sought legal advice. “Just about every community group in Wake Forest meets at The Forks, but now, not us. We just want to be treated like everyone else.” 

Now, the group is looking for a new meeting place, but nothing had been decided.

“We have a couple of places we are looking at,” said Powell. 

The next meeting is Sept. 3. 

Greenwell said he was prepared for the fallout of his decision. 

“I know I will lose business because of this decision,” he said,“but I needed to be progressive for the future of my business and its place in the community.”

A spokesman with NC Archives and History gives a program on “Colored Confederates” to the SCV at the Forks Cafeteria. The photo shows the Confederate symbols displayed at meetings.
FILE PHOTO | SCV

Wake Forest advances in 4AA football playoffs

From WSJ Staff Reports East fifth seed Wake Forest (6-1) defeats fourth seed Millbrook (5-3) 30 to 27 in the first round of the NCHSAA 4AA football state championship.  Wake Forest will host eight seed Pinecrest (6-2) in the second round of the playoffs Friday, April 23.  Pinecrest defeated  number one seed Apex Friendship (7-1) 24 to […]

0 comments

April 22: Town schedules third Community Plan Visioning Workshop

In an effort to achieve the highest possible level of citizen participation, the Town of Wake Forest has added a third Community Plan Visioning Workshop to its slate of virtual public meetings. In addition to workshops on Tuesday, April 13, and Saturday, April 17, from 10-11:30 a.m., the Town will offer a session on Thursday, April 22, […]

0 comments
(Visited 5,929 times, 1 visits today)

Recent

Wake Forest advances in 4AA football playoffs

From WSJ Staff Reports East fifth seed Wake Forest (6-1) defeats fourth seed Millbrook (5-3) 30 to 27 in the first round of the NCHSAA 4AA football state championship.  Wake Forest will host eight seed Pinecrest (6-2) in the second round of the playoffs Friday, April 23.  Pinecrest defeated  number one seed Apex Friendship (7-1) 24 to […]

0 comments

April 22: Town schedules third Community Plan Visioning Workshop

In an effort to achieve the highest possible level of citizen participation, the Town of Wake Forest has added a third Community Plan Visioning Workshop to its slate of virtual public meetings. In addition to workshops on Tuesday, April 13, and Saturday, April 17, from 10-11:30 a.m., the Town will offer a session on Thursday, April 22, […]

0 comments

Covid vaccine use stopped, issue with J&J side effects

From WSJ Staff Reports North Carolina has stopped the use of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  The state Department of Health and Human Services has released a statement regarding the CDC and FDA’s joint statement on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine, following incidents of severe blood clots in a small number of people who […]

0 comments

All adults eligible for Covid vaccine in NC

Everyone in North Carolina age 16 and older is eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. If you haven’t already received your shot, you can find participating vaccine providers at MySpot.nc.gov to schedule your vaccine appointment. What you should know: The vaccine is free everywhere in North Carolina. No photo ID or insurance is needed. Depending on where you get your […]

0 comments

Editorial Cartoon: 4/16

(Visited 21 times, 1 visits today) Share via: 0 Shares Facebook Twitter Email Copy Link Print More

0 comments

Photo: Baseball is back!

(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today) Share via: 0 Shares Facebook Twitter Email Copy Link Print More

0 comments

Wake Forest Garden Club honored as Main Street Champion

From WSJ Staff Reports NC Main Street recently recognized the Wake Forest Garden Club as a Main Street Champion for “enhancing the beauty of downtown Wake Forest and the entire community since 1924.” According to Downtown Development Manager Jennifer Herbert, the Garden Club’s impact is visible throughout the Renaissance Area and beyond. “Their many efforts in […]

0 comments

Arrests made by WFPD, April 13-15

From WSJ Staff Reports The following arrests were made by the Wake Forest Police Department between April 13- 15: April 13Ajmer Troy Cox, 33, 2207 Fox Ridge Manor Rd.; order for arrest-misdemeanor, order for arrest-misdemeanor; Secured $14,000 bond. April 15Xavier Marquise Lewis, 29, 3911 Dowling Haven Pl., Apt. 101, Raleigh; driving while impaired, resisting public […]

0 comments

EBT cards are now accepted at Publix

From WSJ Staff Reports North Carolina Food and Nutrition Services participants can now purchase groceries online using their Electronic Benefit Transfer cards at an additional authorized online EBT retailer, Publix Super Markets Inc. This flexibility will allow participants to buy food while promoting social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and will help families with transportation and mobility barriers. Wake […]

0 comments

Ferries back open

From WSJ Staff Reports The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has resumed service on Pamlico Sound between Cedar Island, Swan Quarter and Ocracoke. Service reopened with a two-boat, alternate schedule while the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers continues to mitigate shoaling issues in Bigfoot Slough. The ferry service was suspended on April 7 due […]

0 comments

6 Responses to "Sons of Confederate Veterans kicked out of the Forks Cafeteria"

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.