Vandals strike cafe

Published 3:00 am Saturday, November 19, 2016

Smokin’ Skillet Café was set to have a grand re-opening on Thursday, but owners said they had to delay the event after finding a swastika painted on the door and nooses hanging from it.

The business, located on U.S. 231 south of Brundidge, had closed while appealing the Pike County Commission’s decision to deny an alcohol license. The café owners won the appeal and have been open for the last two weeks.

Co-owner Elaine Corbin said vandals had broken the lock on their dumpster and tampered with their septic tank during the past two weeks, but the latest actions were more severe.

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“We’ve been getting harassed for the last year. It seems to have started when it was found out that we were in an interracial relationship,” said Andrew Clark, who co-owns the business with Corbin. “And it’s not just us; she’s got kids and I’m concerned about them … in light of this crap that went down.

“We’re just trying to run a business. But, to be honest, I don’t know if we’re even going to open the doors after this again. We’ve got to go home and sit down and think about this. Some people in the community have come against us.”

Ryan Ellis, administrative assistant at the Pike County Sheriff’s Office, confirmed on Friday that the department is investigating the incident.

Clark said that it isn’t the whole community that he believes is attacking him and Corbin, just a few “influential knuckleheads.”