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Local Restaurant Caught In Protest Drama

ASHLAND, KY (WOWK) - Dozens of Kentucky teachers gathered to protest Republic Majority Leader Damon Thayer this afternoon. 

"This job is not just August to May. We're here to fight for our pensions and fight for our kids," teacher Paula Pleasant told 13 News. 

Thayer was attending a fundraiser for Senate Candidate Scott Sharp at Bella Fonte Restaurant. While the protest was centered around Thayer's pension cuts, the restaurant  has been taking some heat on social media. 

Theresa Newsome is the operations manager at the restaurant. Newsome said the restaurant received many harsh posts on social media from patrons threatening to stop supporting the restaurant because of the event. 

"I explained to them that if they read the advertisement that it was at Bella Fonte not by Bella Fonte, but that didn't seem to help," explained Newsome. "They were mad that we'd even profit from this."

According to Newsome, her boss has owned and operated the business for more than 20 years. 

"He's an American citizen, he worked hard, he owns six restaurants, he pays his taxes, he provides employment for this area and he demands we be nondiscriminatory," stressed Newsome. "We're just here to serve everyone and that is a statement we want to make." 

While the restaurant is sad to see some patrons go, Newsome recognized that it is a constitutional right. 

"When someone comes in we don't ask them what their political affiliation is, their religious affiliation. sexual affiliation, or any affiliation. A customer is a customer," said Newsome.  

Some protestors were upset that people were attacking the restaurant online. A few protestors chose to support the local business by having dinner at the restaurant before heading out to protest Thayer at his event. 


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