Norfolk restaurant receives mixed reactions after promising to donate proceeds to gun reform group

Posted at 3:41 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-08 16:39:42-04

NORFOLK, Va. - After two mass shootings this weekend, one Norfolk restaurant is using Facebook to show how they feel about the tragedies.

On Sunday, The Public House wrote the following in a post on Facebook:

"Enough with the Twitter. It’s not just about thoughts and prayers. It’s time to make a real change. ALL proceeds this Wednesday at The Public House will benefit Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America.

To learn more and see how you can take action, please visit"

In less than a day, the post brought in hundreds of comments and mixed reactions.

Some comments on the page read, "goodbye forever" and, "gonna lose a lot of customers." Others read in part, "I will no longer spend my hard-earned pay at an establishment that does not respect civil rights."

Outside the restaurant Monday, other customers say they find the business's actions brave.

"I'm all for it," said Susan Dudley. "I think this is the responsible thing to do. I think we have seen way too many shootings and it's just not the kind of place we want to live anymore, so I think they are doing the right thing."

Dudley says she hadn't dined at The Public House before, but after hearing about their pledge to donate money to Moms Demand Action, she says she will likely go there on Wednesday. Others echoed her thoughts.

"I like to give money from my wallet to businesses that value people and our community," said Bob Gilkeson. "I'm really happy that they are going to try and do something."

The Public House did not want to talk on camera about their Wednesday event. In a message to News 3, the restaurant says they hold a few events every year that benefit a non-profit. They say, "We enjoy being an engaged partner in our community and supporting organizations that our customers care about."

The Public House also says that they were planning Wednesday's event with Moms Demand Action before the shootings occurred this weekend. When asked about the mixed reactions they have received and people commenting that they will no longer go to the restaurant, they said:

"Differing opinions and the discussions that happen in pubs all across America is a wonderful thing, and we live for those spirited debates. But, we also support their right to vote with their wallet."

On Thursday The Public House posted an update on their Facebook and said guests help to raise $2,100 for Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America. They will be accepting donations until August 11.