'That money's not mine:' So-Ca Raleigh donating all proceeds on reopening day this Juneteenth

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- You'll find Black Lives Matter signs on nearly every window and door at So-Ca Restaurant in Cameron Village. Owner Sean Degnan is offering support to the black community not just with this messaging.

He's reopening the Latin fusion restaurant on Juneteenth and is choosing to miss out on another day of profits.

"I can't take any of that money. That money's not mine," said Degnan.

One hundred percent of sales are going to being donated to local chapters of the NAACP, Emancipate NC and other minority-focused causes.

RELATED: See how other local black-owned businesses are celebrating Juneteenth!

"Any money made that night deserves to go to causes that'll help start to fix things," said Degnan.

The financial commitment comes after a three-month-long closure from the COVID-19 pandemic.

So-Ca was essentially the county's first restaurant to be directly affected by the crisis. The victim in the first North Carolina case dined at So-Ca not long after contracting the virus.

The place was temporarily closed in March for professional deep cleaning, and a stay-at-home order soon followed.

Degnan held off on reopening when the state entered Phase 2. He had to order product and resemble staff.

June 19th was the date when the kitchen and front of house team could make it back to work. When the owner realized coincided with Juneteeth, Degnan made the decision.

"We're excited, we're excited to celebrate," he said.

It wasn't so long Degnan was on UNC's campus marching and participating in sit-ins. He was a member of the Black Student Movement and served one year as treasurer.

"There were nights when it would just be me or one other person in there (at the sit-in) and I was afraid to go to class. I was afraid it was going to end," said Degnan.

It did eventually end. The demonstration was successful.

The Sonya Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History now stands on Carolina's campus. Degnan learned a lesson on the importance of standing up for an issue and contributing to a cause.

That's exactly what's he's doing reopening his restaurant on a celebratory day in American history.

"It's very exciting. It is the best way I can imagine reopening," said Degnan.

The takeaway -- can you support this small business and the racial justice movement by dining at So-Ca Friday night. All proceeds will be donated from So-Ca, as well as its sister restaurant Ko'an in Cary.

The Wake County Chapter of the NAACP and Emancipate NC are some of the nonprofits benefitting.
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