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Charlotte City Council member announces boycott of new restaurant over owner’s anti-LGBT views

He also owns King's Kitchen and Rooster's in Charlotte, and A Noble Grille in Winston-Salem

UPDATE: Mayfield has clarified that she does not intend her personal boycott to be a call for others to join her, and Noble has said why he objected to the expanded non-discrimination ordinance. He also called homosexuality a sin


CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Charlotte City Councilmember LaWana Mayfield has announced that she will be boycotting a new barbecue restaurant over its owners anti-LGBTQ views and activism.

Noble Smoke will be located at 2216 Freedom Drive, the owner, Jim Noble, having signed a lease earlier this month. He also owns Charlotte restaurants King’s Kitchen and Rooster’s, as well as A Noble Grille in Winston-Salem.

Noble was among nearly 100 religious leaders, business owners and activists who signed onto a letter asking City Council to vote against expanding the nondiscrimination ordinance to include LGBTQ protections. 

It is this reason Mayfield cites for her intention to steer clear.

“As the District Representative I am happy for growth,” she wrote on Twitter, continuing, “as an OUT Queer Person of Color I will NEVER patronize this business as Noble is one of the signers against the fully inclusive non-discrimination ordinance.”

The letter Noble signed was drafted by the Alliance Defending Freedom, the far right legal group defending the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, who refused to make a cake for a same-sex wedding, in the so-called “religious freedom” case coming before the United States Supreme Court. The Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled it a hate group

Noble’s views have also shown up quite visibly in at least one of his establishment’s, King’s Kitchen. 

As a profile from 2013 details:

A few minutes later, [Noble] slides a large, mounted poster from behind the banquette and props it up.

WANTED: FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD,” it shouts. “Drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes, pimps, all sick people, gangbangers, gamblers, strippers, AIDS victims, homosexuals, blind, confused, shoplifters, depressed, suicidal people, demon-possessed, and those who are unsaved and cursed by witchcraft.”

“Some of these are lifestyle choices. Some are afflictions. Doesn’t make a difference,” Noble says. “People in life go through tough times. They need help.”

Noble Smoke is expected to open next summer.

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Posted by Jeff Taylor / Social Media Editor

Jeff Taylor is a journalist and artist. In addition to QNotes, his work has appeared in publications such The Charlotte Observer, Creative Loafing Charlotte, Inside Lacrosse, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. He graduated from the State University of New York at Brockport and has lived in Charlotte since 2006.@jefftaylorhuman.

19 Replies to “Charlotte City Council member announces boycott of new restaurant over owner’s anti-LGBT views”

  1. What your article doesn’t say about Mr. Noble is his personal and company history of lifting the most vulnerable members of the Charlotte community out of despair, particularly in the district Ms. Mayfield ‘represents’. King’s Kitchen and it’s army of volunteers has a weekly track record since its inception of feeding and fighting for the homeless, and poorest. Just visit Reid Park or JT Williams on any Saturday or be on the street or under a bridge with any of his volunteers every Friday or any holiday, like the past several years of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Ms. Mayfield has certainly never been in the company of those volunteers. It is doubtful she has contributed from her perspective or finances, much less heart, a fraction of what Noble will continue to.

    1. Noble is indeed a foolish man if he thinks gay people choose to be gay.

    2. Hate has NO place in Charlotte. This is not the 1950’s & 60’s Charlotte. This is 2017, and Mr Noble will NOT be welcome here. He will LOSE this battle. This is Charlotte, we can do better.

  2. Concerned Citizen December 1, 2017 at 6:06 pm

    Cindy – I’m guessing you’re related to the bigot.

    1. Cindy talks about heart and compassion and in the same breath endorses hatred and bigotry. Another FINE example of a “Christian”. Where do these people come from ?

    2. So if you have a belief that is contrary to another person’s -that makes you a bigot? And you don’t respect individual rights?

  3. Good for Ms. Mayfield, I will be avoiding Noble’s restaurants in the future as well and I will share this on my FB page.

  4. Cindy,

    None of that is terribly relevant. He believes something which is a lie, that an inherent part of the way I was made is somehow something to be fixed. He doesn’t get my money, nor the money of anyone who cares about me. Simple enough.

    1. I am going to start with saying that I agree with you completely. Nothing about you needs to be fixed and this man is a fool.

      However, your feelings about him are clearly identical to the way he feels about you. You do not want to give him your business because of his beliefs. I doubt he wants to give you his business anyway and is in fear you will come in and try to legally face him to one day. You think he believes something is a lie, but you also think the way he lives is wrong. I guess all I am saying is 2 hates don’t make a right. He simply has a different belief system and it is not up to you to tell him how to live and operate, just the same as he has no right to tell you how to live or operate. Personally, I am with you and ‘ef this guy, but to say he is wrong simply isn’t right.

  5. He’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He does some good for some to mask his bigoted views and harm against others.

  6. Hey Lawana Mayfield You eat where you want and I will eat where I want.And I don’t need your opinion on what I should do or not do .Stick to your Political job

    1. Hey, Paul, that’s exactly what Lawana Mayfield is suggesting – people who deplore discrimination against gays should not eat at this man’s restaurants. People like you who are ok with it should feel free to continue to support bigotry with your dining dollars.

  7. Shakti Ganapati Subramanian December 2, 2017 at 10:22 pm

    We all have our personal beliefs but we should also remember this, if you are against members of the LGBTQ community then that is your set of beliefs and your right. However if you want to voice those beliefs publicly and you own a business, then people have every right not to give you their money if they hold beliefs opposite yours.

  8. When I first starting living in Charlotte, I checked to see why it was called “Kings Kitchen”. The evangelical message I found told me it wasn’t for me right away.

  9. I think the LGBTQ movement, clubs, meet ups etc could have an impact by holding ALL of their events in Mr. Noble’s restaurants and show him what a loving, generous, kind, amazing group of people you all are. Let’s initiate kindness wherever we are met with unkindness. It is the bigger person that does this. Hatred is a form of suffering, more for the hater than the hated. Let’s meet that suffering with love, compassion and kindness. Maybe one day he will see the light. He is a good man who has made some poor judgement calls. Who of us can’t say that we are the same? We all make judgements. We are one. Let’s live and love like we are. Hating back worsens the problem.

    1. M Antoinette Johnson December 5, 2017 at 1:11 am

      Susan J, your ideas and sentiment are spot on; your words are so clarifying. I’d like to quote you unless, of course, you are paraphrasing someone else’s statement. I just really like how you said it so well.

    2. Susan J. I agree with M Antoinette. Beautifully said. We have to refuse to wear the cloak of hate and judgement. I am a Christian that was raised to believe Christ died for ALL OF US no matter who we are. I believe that God made everyone the way they are – and He sent His son to send a message of Love above all else, not judgement. If Christ were to come today, I really believe He would sit down at the table with the LGBTQ community inside the Noble establishment and remind them they are Gods loved children. If we all looked at each other that way, I think we would be given the gift of seeing the beauty that each and every one of us brings into the world.

    3. How would you feel if they decided to host their bible study at a LGBTQ venue just to show you how much love they have for you and how they want to love and fix you so you don’t spend an eternity in hell?

      Ugh, so creepy. They seriously have good intentions just as you would by going to their restaurant with your meetings, they simply don’t want you there though, just as you don’t want them at your venues trying to push them to simply “accept” each other’s values. These are not bad people, they were just raised to be this way and we will weed them out over time and with continued efforts that do not invade their personal space.

      Overall, let’s stay out of places people of any kind should feel safe and free amongst people they feel safe and happy among. Don’t be a buzzkill, I am sure there are several other local establishments that would welcome all groups with open arms.

  10. I used to love eating lunch at King’s restaurant in downtown Charlotte. I ate there quite frequently and loved their home cooking. I will never eat there again, I hate people that make judgments on other people, I support the LGBTQ community. It would be a boring world if everybody was the same, Americans diversity is due to people of color, people of different sexual preferences, fat people, skinny people, lending itself to the diversity of America. This business owner is incorrect in his religious stance.

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