On Sunday, The Pit Authentic Barbecue, a “gun-free” restaurant in Durham was robbed at gunpoint. Thank goodness no one was seriously injured or killed during the robbery. Of course, as written on the NC Gun Blog, the innocents "were not murdered only because the robbers did not decide to kill them. The robbers had all the power. No one could resist them. Why? Because the owner of The Pit Authentic Barbecue has banned guns in his restaurant." Another day—a different arbitrary decision—and we might be discussing something much more horrific than a robbery.

The Raleigh location of The Pit is where anti-gun carpetbagger, Gabby Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly, held last summer's so-called “Round Table with Gun Owners." An event from which many actual Triangle area gun owners were carefully excluded. You can read more about that event at the NC Gun Blog, here. The Pit's “No Concealed Weapons” sign, which brazenly announces that its customers and employees are absolutely defenseless (photo below), is not “off the shelf” either. The Pit had this sign custom made just for their restaurant to make a specific political statement (more about that at this NC Gun Blog post). Although anti-gun signs like this undeniably serve to endanger the innocent, in WNCN’s report on the robbery, The Pit’s owner, Greg Hatem, had this to say:

“We take this very seriously, very seriously because we want to make sure that our guests and our staff are well taken care of. We want to protect everyone.”

Really? Does Mr. Hatem want to “protect everyone”? Disallowing effective means of self-defense is actually a great way to make sure no one is protected—except of course for the armed robbers. With The Pit’s anti-gun policy glaringly on display, odds are the armed bandits felt quite protected. They probably weren’t even nervous.

Yes, it would seem that the anti-gun political statement posted on The Pit’s entrance has successfully empowered the most violent among us, while leaving good people, people who just want to grab a bite or make rent, terrorized and begging for their lives.

Guns save lives, and anti-gun signs risk them. Below, see how you can go about asking ownership at The Pit (owned by Empire Eats) if they will continue to unnecessarily put the lives of their employees and customers on the line, or if they’ll wise up and change their dangerous anti-gun policy. The thugs were “merciful” this time, but next time they may not be so generous. 

Note: Greg Hatem’s company “Empire Eats,” owns the following restaurants:
The Pit (Raleigh and Durham), Gravy, Sitti, The Morning Times, and The Raleigh Times. (Read more on that at the NC Gun Blog.)


Use the contact information below to ask Empire Eats if they plan to continue to risk the lives of their employees and patrons by keeping anti-gun postings in place.
  • E-mail the 'Empire Eats' Media Contact: samantha@empireeats.com. You can copy/paste the suggested message below.

  • Phone the Empire Eats corporate office: (919) 459-3206. Ask them how the "No Concealed Firearms" sign is working out for them. Find out if they now intend to remove the anti-gun postings. Or perhaps, they will instead continue to risk the lives of their patrons and employees by insuring their defenselessness in the face of violent criminals.

  • Please contribute to GRNC. While keeping you informed about them, GRNC is also encouraging high-risk restaurants to remove gun-ban signs, signs which generate great risk to employees and patrons. Please contribute to help GRNC with its High-Risk Restaurant project. To contribute, click here (or: http://grnc.org/join-grnc/contribute).

  • Report Posted Restaurants. If you are aware of a high-risk restaurant that we don’t have on our list, please click here to inform us (or: http://grnc.org/report-posted-restaurant).


Suggested Subject: “Protect the Innocent, Remove Anti-Gun Signs

Dear Empire Eats Ownership,

I have just learned of Sunday’s violent armed robbery at Durham’s “The Pit Authentic Barbecue” location. I’m relieved to hear that no one was seriously hurt, but I’m also disappointed knowing that this event could have been avoided all together. I understand that The Pit posts against peaceful customers and employees who lawfully carry concealed weapons. Obviously, the violent criminals who committed this crime did not respect your “no guns” sign. Conversely, they surely saw it as an indication that your restaurant was filled with defenseless victims. Unfortunately, they were correct.

After this terrible event, I would like to know if Empire Eats owner, Greg Hatem, will carry on his policy of gambling the lives of his employees and customers by continuing to render them defenseless in the face of violent outlaws. Personally, I don’t feel safe at an establishment that would do such a thing, and it is disrespectful toward the innocent people whose lives are being risked.

I strongly encourage Empire Eats ownership to reconsider its risky anti-gun policy. Please remove the no-gun signs which only embolden and empower the criminal element. Until then, The Pit and other Empire Eats establishments will remain on my personal “high-risk restaurants” list. I’ll find safer places to eat.

I’ll continue to monitor this issue via alerts from Grass Roots North Carolina.


Copyright Info
© 2012 GRNCFFE, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction and distribution is permitted provided full attribution is given and the item is reprinted in its entirety. Address questions to: President@GRNC.org

GRNC Sponsors

Support these PRO RKBA merchants who, as GRNC sponsors, are supporting your Second Amendment rights:

Corporate Benefactors

Hyatt Gun Shop, 3332 Wilkinson Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28208, 704-394-0387, www.hyattguns.com

Tigerswan Range Complex (TRC), World class outdoor shooting range that meets & exceeds the new Cumberland County range requirements.  Built by former members of the elite "DELTA FORCE".  2850 Tigerswan Drive, Autryville, NC 28318.  910-208-4117 - http://tigerswan.com

Carolina Shooters Club, The largest/ most active Online firearms community in the Carolinas. Come join the discussions with our firearms enthusiasts and trainers. We have dedicated sections for the ladies, training topics, political and 2A-related issues. http://www.carolinashootersclub.com
37 Public Shooting Range & Gun Club, 1333 Loop Road, Bunnlevel, NC 28323, 910-893-9887, www.range37.com

Point Blank Range
, 743 River Highway, Mooresville, NC 28117, 704-230-0262, www.PointBlankRange.com
C & E Gun Shows, 4225 Fortress Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060; Phone 540-953-0016 or 888-715-0606; http://www.cegunshows.com/

Gun and Knife Shows, PO Box 21049, Raleigh, NC 27619, ph: 919-781-1287, www.dixiegunandknifeshow.com/

2A Friendly & NCGunOwners.com, North Carolina's friendliest firearm smartphone app and web forum, working to promote gun ownership in NC www.NCGunOwners.com & 2AFriendly.com

Handgunners, Inc., 4325 NC Hwy 49 South, Burlington, NC 27215, (336) 570-1015 www.handgunners.com

Sterling Pistols, custom pistols, FFL transfers, general repairs, Glock enhancements, 704-840-7625

Corporate Patrons

Take Aim Training, Outdoor Rifle, Handgun, Shotgun, and Archery Range located in the heart of the Carolinas. We offer Concealed carry, hunter education, and many other courses. NC & SC firearms sales and transfers. Listen to the Take Aim Training Show or online www.wixe1190.com Thursdays 4-5PM. - www.takeaimtraining.com

MK Shows, Mike Kent, PO Box 685, Monroe, GA 30655, Mike@MKShows.com, Phone: 770-630-7296, http://MKShows.com

Morris Firearms at Sportsman's Lodge
, Great handgun prices. New and used guns.  Stocking dealer for Glock, Smith & Wesson, SIG Sauer, Springfield Armory, Bond Arms, Ruger, Dan Wesson and more.  Buy, sell & trade.  Phone: 336-961-6800  Fax: 336-961-6801.  www.gftc.com

The Blue Book Man
, www.thebluebookman.com and www.thefirearmsguide.com

Down South Ammo, Home of "SOUTHERN THUNDER" Exploding Targets, http://downsouthammo.com/

Holsters & Stuff, 4048 Sherwood Forest Drive, Trinity, NC 27370, (336) 313-6167 www.holstersandstuff.com

DoubleD Media, 8300 Raintree Lane, Charlotte, NC 28277, ph: 704-650-5555, fx: 704-544-0326 donna@doubledme.com

Gunner's Alley, LLC, 203 N. Harrison Ave., Ste. 130, Cary, NC 27513, www.gunnersalley.com, 919-388-1991, contact: Ed Guerriero, ed@gunnersalley.com

Corporate Sponsors

TacticalGearOps, http://tacticalgearops.com - sales@tacticalgearops.com - (888) 285-2649

The Aisle Pawn Shop, 216 N. Main St., Mooresville, NC 28115, 704-663-5656

Duncan Gun & Pawn, 414 Second St., North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, 336-667-6303, www.duncangun.com

Shooter's Express, 2 Caldwell Dr., Belmont, NC 28012, 800-358-GUNS, www.shootersexpress.com

Vanguard Security Consulting, LLC, 19135 W. Catawba Ave, Cornelius, NC 28031