Business surges after restaurant owner kicks out neo-Nazis

One Charlottesville businessman stood up to a group of Neo-Nazis and it has people lining up to support him.

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WUSA9) - Sometimes standing up, can get people sitting down.

One Charlottesville businessman stood up to a group of neo-Nazis -- and it has people lining up to support him.

Customers have been flocking to Ace Biscuit and Barbecue since Sunday. That's when Brian Ashworth ordered a group of neo-Nazis off his property. "One of them saluted the other with a Hitler salute. That's when I said, 'That's it, you guys get the BLEEP out of here.' Pardon my French."

This is usually a welcoming spot. But after one woman was killed, and 19 other people hurt, Ashworth was unwilling to serve any white nationalists. "They said, 'Don't worry, this isn't over. We'll be back.' They threatened me, they threatened Charlottesville."

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Ashworth called  the police and asked them to post a cruiser out front, but he says the police told them they were stretched too thin for that. So some of the workers at the restaurant have taken to openly carrying handguns.

It's not clear how many of his new customers realize some of the staffers are armed. But the threats have encouraged a lot more people to come in.

“I want this town to be the catalyst for change of the nation. And I think it is, because everybody is talking about Charlottesville,” said Terri Payne, who lives just around the corner, but had never been in.

"The idea that a Nazi came to my town and killed somebody is just beyond what I could imagine," said customer Susan Perry.

Ashworth says he's happy business is surging. He's just not happy it had anything to do with white nationalists.

He says his other customers applauded after he kicked them off the property. But he's still worried about their safety.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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