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via @Brenen's

Brenen's Cafe posts sign welcoming all into its Athens restaurant

Twitter followers of Brenen’s Coffee Cafe shouldn't be surprised to see photos of sandwiches on their timelines. But on Monday, Brenen’s sent a tweet that had a bit more meaning.

And why did it get put up?

“My wife (Jessica) and I have been here for 20 years and we have seen students come and students go, international students, students from all over the world,” Josh Thomas, who owns Brenen’s with his wife, said. “And one thing with just the current climate, all we wanted to do was just say everyone is welcome here.

President Donald Trump during his first two weeks in office has signed several executive orders — one of them regarding immigration.

That order placed a 120-day ban on all refugees entering the country, an indefinite ban on Syrian refugees and a 90-day ban on citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, with some exceptions.

Thomas said international students and faculty have a huge impact on the community in Athens.

“My experience has always been (international students and faculty) just enrich our community and just make us a little more knowledgeable of the world,” Thomas said.

The open-door policy that Brenen’s is advertising is for all, he said — no matter people’s political leanings.

“The funny thing is people have said to me, ‘Oh, OK, you’re interested in that, but what if a Trump supporter came in?’” Thomas said. “You know what? That’s fine too. Everybody has their opinions. Everybody has their thoughts. Everybody has a way they live and a way they view the world.”

Now, 450 retweets and more than 870 likes later, Thomas said the sandwich shop might serve as a way to escape the madness happening on both sides of the table.

“Sometimes the best part of people’s day is when they take an hour off, come in, have lunch, sit and have a coffee with a friend, and we want to provide a space where you can come and do that and just enjoy yourself,” Thomas said. “Maybe it's just a place to get away from the world for a day, you know? Or for an hour.”


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