Restaurant’s message for Panthers: ‘Please let the coach & GM pick this year’

A sign posted outside a bar and grill in Dilworth has drawn attention from the owner of the Carolina Panthers. It reads, “Please let the coach & GM pick this year.”

Matt Wohfarth, the owner of Dilworth Neighborhood Grille, said he wasn’t there when Panthers owner David Tepper walked in his restaurant after seeing the sign. But he said the PSA was meant for Tepper and he hopes he’ll keep the message in mind.

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“A big fan of Panthers, and, you know, we need to start winning,” Wohfarth told Channel 9′s Almiya White.

That’s what Wohfarth wanted to make clear to Tepper.

“He brought in the commission to help him pick the coaches and the GM and stuff, and so maybe he is trying to stand a little bit back,” he said. “I just want to make sure.”

The sign caught the attention of many, including Tepper himself. Surveillance video shows Tepper walking into the restaurant Thursday, hours before the NFL draft. Wohfarth said he heard the exchange was quick and friendly.

“My manager at the door, and my daughter, they were here and he seemed rather friendly the whole time and joking,” Wohfarth said.

He’s been a longtime Panthers fan and season ticket holder for decades, and said he loses business when the Panthers have losing seasons.

“When you take a couple hundred thousand out of my pocket, you know, over six or seven years, that needs to stop,” Wohfarth said.

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This isn’t Dilworth Neighborhood Grille’s first time aiming messages at Tepper. In December, he posted another message.

“I said, ‘Hey, don’t be like Jerry Jones -- meddling owners never win.”

Wohfarth said he was tuned into the draft Thursday night and was pleased with the outcome.

“The draft has started out pretty good,” he said. “I was happy to see we didn’t jump up too far and act like we can win now. Because that was the big mistake last year.”

Wohfarth said he knows Tepper wants to win, but in order to do that, he said Tepper should stay in his own lane.

“I still need him to be more of an owner and less of a coach,” he said.

The owner said he’ll keep his sign up until the end of the weekend.

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