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Word spread quickly at the Belgian Cafe in Apex as staff began their shifts.
"Normally, the first thing I do in the morning when I wake up is check my messages and emails from Belgium," said manager Stephane Honhon. "I was shocked and, of course, worried for my family and friends."
Honhon spent the morning trying to reach his family in Brussels, including his two children who attend the local university.
"I could have contact with my daughter like 20 minutes later on Facebook, and she said they were okay," said Honhon. "I called my mom, and they were okay too."
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Classes are cancelled and residents are being urged to stay home.
Belgian Cafe employees, many of whom are from Europe, kept busy with cell phones nearby.
Concerned customers offered their condolences.
"I think it's sad for everybody. I feel sad for Belgium and for Europe and for the world," said Honhon.
Belgian Cafè would like to extend our thoughts to all affected by the attacks. Plz continue to pray for our family & friends #Brussels— Belgian Cafe (@BelgianCafeRDU) March 22, 2016
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