Owners of Durham restaurant Zweli's invited by Joe Biden to debate in Nashville

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Friday, October 23, 2020
Durham restaurant owners invited to presidential debate
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Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden invited Leonardo and Zweli Williams of Zweli's to Thursday night's debate.

NASVHILLE, TN (WTVD) -- There was a taste of the Bull City in Nashville on Thursday night as a Durham couple and co-restaurant owners were there as America got one final glance at the major party presidential candidates.

Leonardo and Zweli Williams of Zweli's Kitchen & Catering were guests of democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for Thursday night's presidential debate.

ABC11's Jonah Kaplan spoke with Leonardo and Zweli on Thursday. The two said they want others in the community to be as engaged in the democratic process as they are. They got a call from a Biden staff member on Wednesday inviting them to come.

"We got a call yesterday - 'hey, really love the work you guys are doing in Durham. How fast can y'all get to Nashville for the presidential debate?'" Leonardo said. "We've used our platform for our restaurant to...we don't care who you're voting for, just get engaged."

Zweli said they've been encouraging customers to register to vote, even hosting a registering event at the restaurant and offering specials for voters.

"Registering to vote can be delicious," Leonardo joked.

Zweli grew up in Zimbabwe before coming to Durham to attend North Carolina Central University and eventually founding Zweli's. The restaurant offers several worldly flavors, including that of her home country.

Biden, who served as vice president under Barack Obama from 2009 to 2017, has carved out a niche of support in Durham. Biden spoke at Riverside High School last weekend and featured a Durham barbershop in a campaign ad for him and Sen. Kamala Harris.