Black Jack’s Pub and Grill recently received some statewide media attention.
Earlier this week, the restaurant and bar, located in downtown West Jefferson, was featured on WRAL’s “Tar Heel Traveler” segment.
WRAL is Raleigh and the Triangle’s CBS affiliate news station.
The segment focused on owner Virginia Brown’s special ability to overcome adversity, from her life in Communist Romania to her current fight against ovarian cancer, all the while owning and operating a restaurant that’s considered a local favorite by many.
Brown was born and raised in Romania. She fled the country in 1989, the year of the December Romanian Revolution, which culminated in the execution of President Nicolae Ceausescu and fall of Communism in the Eastern European nation.
She escaped into Yugoslavia, in an inner-tube, doing her best to hide from soldiers.
“I had 1 percent chance to survive,” Brown said in the interview with WRAL’s Scott Mason. “If they (soldiers) heard a noise, they would shoot first, ask questions after.”
She stayed in Austria until 1991, when she left for California with her children and $10 in her pocket.
Brown opened Black Jack’s with her family in 2008.
A placard titled “Pay it Forward Virginia’s Story” is featured at tables throughout the restaurant.
To watch the segment, go to http://www.wral.com/overcoming-adversity-is-nothing-new-for-west-jefferson-restaurant-owner-/13884158/.
To read all of Virginia’s Story, head on over to Black Jack’s.
Alan Bulluck can be reached at (336) 846-7164 or Twitter @albulluck.